A giant victory against financial deprivation this last week as the Shingle Springs band of Miwork Indians avoided likely bankruptcy and devastation after a state appeals court ruled that there were not indebted or owing of any funds, notably £50m or more, to a former business partner.
The Shingle Springs Band conducts business from Shingle Springs and Sacramento, California – they are a federally recognised tribe of Maidu and Miwok people.
Since 2012, the Shingle Springs band have been battling to overturn judgements made by the El Dorado Superior Court that ruled that their casino operation was indebted to $30m + interest to Sharp Image Gaming Inc – a former business partner with them. The relationship had involved the Red Hawk Casino, opened in 2008, that is owned by the Indians and this venue was the platform for their defence as they stated that paying this escalating value to their former partner would not only severely damage their financial standing but most likely result in the foreclosure and end of the firm entirely, something to avoid after the location itself cost a princely $535m to develop.
However, more than 5 years later the news they had been waiting for and the judgement they sought so passionately: the California Court of Appeal for the Third District overturned the El Dorado ruling on the grounds that the relationship between Red Hawk and Sharp Image Gaming was not a valid agreement and not sanctioned under federal regulations, therefore making any arrears or such related items completely and entirely invalid in themselves.
A 67-page dossier detailing the overturned ruling was provided to both parties with, as expected, the now non-recipient of debts being the lesser pleased of the pair – as you’d probably be if you went from battling to receive over $30m to getting absolutely nothing except a few long days over 5 years in courtrooms.
Nick Fonesca, Chairman of Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians was understandably overjoyed by the result and retained his stance that they always felt they weren’t owing anything to the Gaming firm, and that it is a great victory for the truth, perseverance and all of the Tribes located in the state of California.