Former Kickapoo tribal manager, family sentenced to prison

Waco, Texas (AP) 2-08

A former Kickapoo tribal manager was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison for his role in a plot to steal tribal casino funds for political campaigns and personal expenses.

Isidro Garza Jr. was sentenced along with his son, former state Rep. Timoteo Garza, and his wife, Martha, all of whom were convicted in federal court last year of conspiracy and an assortment of other charges.

Timoteo Garza received 61/2 years in prison and Martha Garza received two years. Lee Martin, the former manager of the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass, was also sentenced to five years.

The four were also sentenced to pay a combined $1.1 million in restitution, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Isidro Garza used the casino as his personal piggy bank and tried to hide the assets from the Internal Revenue Service by using a consulting business in the name of his sons and wife, a former casino employee.

During the trial, South Texas officials said Isidro Garza spent lavishly on area political campaigns, sometimes disguising them in the books as legitimate tribal expenses.

The trial was moved from Eagle Pass to Waco after the defendants cited a conflict of interest involving the original judge.