A California developer who owns a million-dollar home in Haiku is one of three men recently indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly defrauding a Native American tribe in California of $18 million.
Bart Wayne Volen - listed as a Haiku and San Diego resident - was arrested in San Francisco last week, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California.
Volen, 53, owns a home on Kulike Road in Haiku, valued at $1.3 million, according to Maui County property tax records. Calls to two Upcountry phone numbers listed for a Bart Volen were not returned.
Volen, along with Greg Scott Baker and Darrell Patrick Hinz, both of California, have been charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Volen allegedly ran a scheme between October 2006 and December 2007 in which he overbilled the United Auburn Indian Community for construction work, according to court documents.
The United Auburn Indian Community is a federally recognized Native American tribe comprising Miwok and Maidu Indians indigenous to the Sacramento Valley area. The tribe owns the profitable Thunder Valley Casino and Resort in Lincoln, a suburb of Sacramento.
Volen allegedly submitted false and inflated invoices to the Indian tribe for work on four tribal buildings - a school, a community center and administrative offices. He allegedly would inflate prices from a few thousand dollars to more than $1 million per invoice.
Baker, another defendant, had been the Indian group's tribal administrator at the time and allegedly signed off on the inflated invoices, knowing they were altered.
Hinz, also indicted in the case, was a contract employee of the tribe, hired to manage quality control and construction at the project site. He allegedly was paid more than $7 million in kickbacks.
The indictment alleges that "during the scheme to defraud the tribe, both Baker and Hinz engaged in conduct to ensure that the tribal council would pay for the inflated and fraudulent invoices submitted by Volen. . . . The government alleges (the three) allegedly ultimately stole more than $18 million" from the tribe.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Attorney's Office filed civil complaints seeking to forfeit 20 properties, including one on Maui and others in five California counties, alleging the properties were purchased with funds traceable to the scheme.
Volen also bought a 2004 Lamborghini, a 2006 Bentley Continental and a 2006 Bentley Flying Spur with money traced to the scam, which also are subject to forfeiture.
If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a three-year term of supervised release for each count of mail and wire fraud.
* Nanea Kalani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.