Federal prosecutors are suing a pair of accountants for advising some Chumash tribal members to evade income taxes on gaming profits. Two years ago the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash as a whole rejected Benecorp’s CapNet 7 loan-deduction as possibly fraudulent, but 32 of the 156 tribal members participated as individuals. The federal Department of Justice filed suit Wednesday, August 2, to prevent continued use of the scheme by Kenneth Sorensen of Buellton and Stephen Drake of Arizona, the chief officers of Benecorp LLC, which specializes in financial advice to Native Americans. Sorensen was the Chumash tribal accountant for eight years, until 2004.

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