Investigation Into Bribes Leads To Construction Corruption At Choctaw Casino

Aug 5, 2013

Six people have been indicted in federal court in Muskogee after two bribery investigations revealed alleged corruption involving construction of a casino for the Choctaw Nation in Durant.

Choctaw Grand Tower Casino
Credit Brad Holt /

Lauri Parsons and her husband, Brent Parsons, Cordell Bugg, James Stewart, and Mark Eshenroder were indicted on conspiracy to commit theft or bribery charges. Brent Parsons and Stewart also face money laundering charges.

Allen Franklin, project manager for the tribe, is accused of conspiracy to commit theft or bribery.

Attempts to locate attorneys for the defendants were unsuccessful, and phone messages left with representatives of company they worked for were unreturned.

Lauri Parsons, Bugg and Stewart pleaded guilty Monday.

The Choctaw Nation says in a statement released late Monday that the probe began after a routine audit on the project found discrepancies.