6 indicted in Choctaw Casino construction corruption probe

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MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA -- Six people have been indicted for alleged corruption, after an FBI and IRS investigation into the construction of Choctaw Casino in Durant.

Lauri Parsons and her husband Brent Parsons, as well as Cordell Bugg, James Stewart and Mark Eshenroder were indicted at a federal court in Muskogee today for conspiracy to commit theft or bribery charges.

Brent Parsons and Stewart are also facing money laundering charges.

Three of the six defendants, Lauri Parsons, Bugg and Stewart, all pleaded guilty to those charges today.

The Choctaw Nation's Project Manager Allen Franklin is also accused of conspiracy to commit theft or bribery.

The Choctaw Nation released a statement saying they fully cooperated with the probe, which began after an audit on the construction project found discrepancies.

A release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma states that the alleged corruption happened from June 2008 to November 2010.

The release states that, during that time, Lauri and Brent Parsons owned Builders Steel, a Tulsa-based steel fabrication company, Bugg was a Vice President at Flintco, a Tulsa-based construction management company, and Stewart became an salesman for Builders Steel.

The release states that the defendants defrauded the Choctaw Nation through their business involvement with the construction of Choctaw Casino.

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