Former Miccosukee Casino Employee Sentenced To 5 Years in Prison

Former Miccosukee Casino Employee Sentenced To 5 Years in Prison

A former employee of the Miccosukee Resort in West Miami-Dad was recently sent to 5 years in federal prison. He was charged with running a fraudulent scheme in which he tampered slots and embezzled millions of dollars.

Video gaming technician was conducting fraud

The fraud was being conducted by Lester Lavin, who was working as a video-gaming machine technician and supervisor at a casino owned by the Miccosukee tribe. He pleads guilty to conspiring with three of his colleagues and embezzling about $5 million. He created fraudulent credit vouchers that could be exchanged for cash in the casino. Lavin bought a condo in Miami Beach with the money he earned.

Former Miccosukee Casino Employee Sentenced To 5 Years in Prison

He was sentenced for about 5 years by US District Judge Darrin P. Gayle for money laundering, computer fraud, and theft. His girlfriend Anisleydi Vergel Hermida also pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering. She helped Lavin launder the money he made via his fraudulent gain. She was also sentenced to six months in prison.

Three colleagues of Lavin, Michel Aleu, Leonardo Betancourt, and Yohander Jorrin Melhen have also pleaded guilty to their crimes alongside their spouses, Maria Del Pilar Aley, Yusmary Shirley Duran, and Milagros Marile Acosta Torres. They are yet to receive their sentencing.

How did the fraud occur?

The prosecutors suggested that the four employees of the casino pretended that a gaming machine was in need of repair. This gave them an opportunity to tamper with the machines and make them generate false amounts for “coin-ins.” The amount usually ran into thousands of dollars. The machines would then go on to generate credit vouches which could be exchanged for cash by conspirators who were not working in the casino at the time.

The creator of these machines, PlayAGS, was not involved in the case. Prosecutors noted that the terminals had

“electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical, or other high-speed data processing devices, which performed logical, arithmetic, or storage functions, and were directly related to and operated in conjunction with data storage facilities.”

The group was able to hide their activities by doing hard resets or clearing RAM of the terminals. This deleted all history of their fake coin-in amounts. The scam ran between January 2011 and May 2015 and bilked about $5.3 million.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.