Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tribes In The Media: More Connecticut Casino Scam Prosecutions Imminent

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This installment of The Tribes In The Media is an update concerning those arrested at the two Indian casinos in Connecticut for participating in a scam.

Former Foxwoods Employees Learning Their Fates
Sentencing starts after craps scam trial; Mohegan Sun case next
By Karen Florin
The Day
August 12, 2009

Former Foxwoods Resort Casino employees who took part in a craps cheating conspiracy and later testified against the man who masterminded the scheme have started resolving their cases in New London Superior Court.

A jury in May found Richard S. Taylor of Memphis guilty of cheating, conspiracy to commit cheating, first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison last month and still faces trial in a similar but smaller-scale cheating case at Mohegan Sun.

The state's case against Taylor had relied on testimony from former Foxwoods dealers and supervisors who were fired and arrested on felony charges after the $70,000 scam came to light. The employees told the jurors they had paid Taylor for late or losing bets and met up with him outside of the casino to be paid for their services.

Last week, former dealer Chandler Alfred Jr. of Baltic pleaded guilty to fourth-degree larceny, a misdemeanor, and received a one-year suspended sentenced and one year of conditional release.

On Monday, former dealer Mattie Tarlton of New London applied for accelerated rehabilitation, a diversionary program that, if granted by a judge, enables defendants - usually first-time offenders - to clear their record after staying out of trouble for a specified time. On Tuesday, former employees Brian Miller, Pierre Langlois and Anthony Leyko applied for accelerated rehabilitation program during their court appearances. They will learn at their next court appearances whether they are eligible.

The state has made an undisclosed offer to Timothy Cahill, a former assistant floor supervisor, to resolve his case short of trial. He will announce whether he is accepting the plea offer at his Sept. 16 court appearance. David Kelley, a former floor supervisor who is not eligible for accelerated rehabilitation, will receive a plea offer at his Aug. 26 court appearance.

Taylor, the convicted ringleader of the scam, plans to appeal. He appeared in court Monday with his attorney, Ralph U. Bergman, who had asked to be removed from the case, citing “irreconcilable differences” that arose during the trial in May. Judge Susan B. Handy denied Bergman's request and told Taylor to either hire another attorney or work it out with Bergman.

The judge granted Taylor's request for a speedy trial in the Mohegan Sun case. At that casino, Taylor allegedly placed four late bets at the table of dealer Johnnie Baker for a total payout of $11,500 in January 2008. Baker told investigators he met up with Taylor in the parking lot of the Norwich Wal-Mart to collect an $800 tip. He said he knew it was a mistake, but that he had been having financial problems.