Former Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Leader Pleads 'Not Guilty' To DOJ Charges

MASHPEE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A plea has been entered in the federal case of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s former leader.

Former Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell pleaded "not guilty" during his virtual arraignment on Thursday in federal court in Boston.

According to the Cape Cod Times, Cromwell, 55, along with Rhode Island resident David Dequattro, 54, entered the pleas to charges of extortion and bribery. Cromwell is also accused of filing false tax returns.

The Department of Justice alleges the two collaborated on a scheme for Dequattro’s architecture firm, Robinson Green Beretta Corp., to be awarded a contract for design plans for the tribe’s proposed casino in Taunton, in exchange for financial contributions to Cromwell valued at over $57,000.

The next hearing in the case is set for May 18, 2021.

According to the DOJ, the charge of filing a false tax return provides for a sentence of up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $100,000.

WBZ NewsRadio's Rob Woodard reports.

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Written by Rachel Armany

(Photo: Getty Images)

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