Federal Investigation at North Fork Rancheria

A federal investigation was conducted Tuesday at the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians.

An FBI spokesperson tells KMPH News that agents searched the Rancheria offices as part of an ongoing investigation.

The Department of the Interior was also involved. It protects natural resources and heritage of tribal communities.

The Rancheria has nearly 19,000 tribal citizens -- one of the largest recognized tribes in the state.

For six years, the tribe has been moving forward with plans to allow gaming on 305 acres in Madera County.

John Maier, tribal attorney for North Fork Rancheria, issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

"The North Fork Rancheria has offered its full cooperation in the investigation being conducted by the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of the Interior. The investigation apparently concerns the use and disclosure of the limited funds advanced to the Tribe for its proposed casino project under its development agreement with Station Casinos. This information is routinely made available to tribal citizens in considerable detail, including general ledger records of each and every check drawn from the project and other unrestricted tribal funds. The Tribe therefore does not understand the basis for the investigation, and is dismayed that information which the Tribe would have been more than willing to provide is instead being secured with a search warrant."

Stay with KMPH News and as we continue to follow this story.