Former Tribal Chairman Appeals Theft Conviction

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ A former leader of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation imprisoned for stealing from the tribe is appealing his conviction.

Michael Thomas argues in the filing with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that a judge wrongly prevented him from presenting evidence that could have helped his case.

The Day of New London reports that Thomas asks to be granted a new trial.

Thomas is a former chairman of the tribe, which owns Foxwoods Resort Casino.

A jury found him guilty of charges that he stole about $100,000 by using a tribe-issued credit card for personal expenses. He is serving an 18-month sentence.

A defense attorney, Steven Rasile, argues in the filing that Thomas should have been allowed to introduce evidence at trial that he intended to reimburse the tribe for the personal expenses.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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