Ex tribal official pleads guilty to bribery in LA

Los Angeles, California (AP) October 2010

The former chairman of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians has pleaded guilty to accepting nearly $875,000 in bribes from tribal vendors and concealing the income from the Internal Revenue Service.

Robert Salgado Sr. pleaded guilty last week in Los Angeles federal court to bribery and subscribing to a false tax return – both felonies.

The plea agreement came on the first day of trial for Salgado, after a prosecutor gave an opening statement.

Federal prosecutors say Salgado admitted that he accepted nearly $875,000 in bribe payments from five vendors who hoped to obtain or be allowed to keep contracts with the tribe.

Salgado could be sentenced to up to 13 years in federal prison.