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An independent review of Choctaws unlikely?

September 2nd, 2011

Under the cloud of  scrutiny, the casino resort owned by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians says it has hired a new auditor to provide independent review of its business and finances.
Hang on a minute.
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has hired a new auditor to provide independent review of its business and finances?
How can anyone hired by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians provide and independent review of the questioned finances?
PriceWaterhouseCoopers is no longer the auditor. The tribe announced in a news release that it hired BDO USA.
However, BDO USA will still be paid by the Choctaws, meaning there will be some loyalty factor built in to whatever BDO comes up with in the next few weeks or months.
Unfortunately, the Choctaws have lost any benefit of the doubt here.
Pearl River Resort and Casino has been under intense scrutiny in recent months, including an FBI raid in July. The tribe also is involved in a bitter election dispute and Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the tribe’s bonds to junk bond status.
Beasley Denson, the chief, said in the past there’s nothing to worry about from the FBI investigation because the books were checked by an independent firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
So, why should we believe them now?

Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1018.

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