A small Huntington Park casino, the target of a criminal investigation, filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal Bankruptcy Act just as county officials moved to collect $400,000 in delinquent property taxes and penalties, officials said Monday.
Huntington Park Club Operations Ltd., part owner and operator of the Huntington Park Casino, owes its 20 largest creditors $610,382, according to the bankruptcy petition filed Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles. The petition did not list the back taxes owed to the county.
The club is the subject of an investigation by sheriff's detectives into alleged skimming of profits and violation of the minimum-wage law. However, the bankruptcy filing is unlikely to have any effect on the probe.
Huntington Park Casino, which opened in 1984, accumulated the property tax debt over the last five years, said Deputy County Counsel Martha E. Romero.
Romero said county officials have tried for several years to get the tax matter resolved. They notified casino management last week that they planned on Monday to begin an inventory of the casino's possessions, including gaming tables and cash registers, and seize them as collateral, Romero said.
The county would have had the right to sell the casino's possessions if the tax bill went unpaid, but Romero said she wanted to work out a payment plan with casino officials.