Penn National Gaming, the former director of the US casino giant Penn National Gaming, is on trial for suspected fraud and theft. Specifically, it is about the theft and misuse of gift items worth $ 75,000 (~ 67,000 euros). Here is an overview of what is happening.
An assortment of gift vouchers.
The ex-director was actually responsible for looking after the gift cards. © KRiemer / pixabay
Complex police work
Penn National Gaming's former director of corporate services, Denise Bitler, is on trial for serious fraud and theft. The 56-year-old is said to have stolen $ 75,000 worth of gift cards and used them for private use during her tenure. The individual value of the cards is between $ 25 and $ 50, so it can be assumed that the employee has used the cards again and again. These were actually intended as bonus gifts for the employees of the Hollywood casino owner.
The fraud and theft charges are the result of months of investigation. There were several house searches, as well as computer and telephone surveillance, until the police were on the right track. As it turned out in the course of further investigations, the accused was responsible as director of benefits between October 2015 and June 2019 for an internal bonus program. During this time, the employees regularly received prizes, including in the form of vouchers and gift cards.
The cards were supposed to be given to employees for participation in health-promoting activities or voluntary tasks. In this context, the accused was entrusted with ordering and issuing the cards. But instead of handing them out to her colleagues, she used them for her own purposes, according to PennLive, among other things, for shopping, medical bills or even traveling.
As Bitler, as the supervisor for the bonus programs, was also responsible for controlling the bonus payments, she also used this position to defraud her employer of four-figure sums of money again and again. The police are talking about around $ 1,200 a year, which the defendant poured into the till.
But that's not all: the accused is said to have swindled on the subject of smoking. Bitler told Penn National Gaming to be a non-smoker. She said the same thing about her family. Penn has given her health bonuses every month for non-smoking status. As it turned out in the course of the police investigation, the defendant had lied in this case too. This fact is unlikely to benefit your credibility in court.
The published indictment against the ex-employee, however, covers six areas, equally involved here are allegations of embezzlement and the illegal use of computers. The arrest warrant for Denise Bitler was followed by a bail of $ 80,000. The fact that the accused has a chance in court is unlikely due to her behavior. However, further developments remain to be seen.
Not an isolated case
It is not uncommon for US casino operators to become victims of fraud, especially in the USA, and headlines keep coming up. Just how tricky the perpetrators are in the establishments has recently been shown by the example of the MGM National Harbor Casino in the state of Maryland, which has 6 million inhabitants.
The casino was helped by baccarat dealer Ming Zhang, who worked there, by over $ 1 million. Just a few days ago, the dealer was sentenced to 18 months in prison plus three years' probation. Zhang also has to repay the total amount of exactly $ 1,046,560 to MGM.
Greetings from Borgata
Another case, which is definitely reminiscent of the Denise Bitler case, is a credit card fraud in Borgata that became known in September. A total of five charges were raised for credit card fraud and identity theft. One of the suspects is charged with having stolen 81 vouchers worth around 11,000 euros with the help of a stolen credit card in the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
According to the police, the suspect had distributed the vouchers to his four cronies during the summer, the money was still being spent locally, in the shops and restaurants of the establishment opened in 2003.
The charges are preceded by a three-month investigation. The management of the casino had already suspected that fake or stolen credit cards were in circulation on the Borgata site in mid-June; the police were turned over
going consulted. It therefore deployed its experts from the Department of Financial Crimes.
In cooperation with the security department of the Borgata, all conspicuous credit card transfers were checked. In connection with this, the investigators noticed a credit card operated under the name of a man from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
The authorities were taken aback by the tracing of the card: as the investigations showed, the person listed had never applied for the credit card. Instead, a third person, 41-year-old William Newhart from Philadelphia, was identified as the applicant. According to the investigators, Newhart obtained the personal data illegally and applied for the card without the victim's knowledge. After receiving his criminal plans were implemented. A judgment is still pending here.