Tue, Jan 21, 1:15pm by Ethan Anderson
Two men appeared in court last week charged with fraud offences following an investigation into professionally facilitated fraudulent activity at a Sydney casino.
The Mirage News reports that in September 2019, the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad’s Casino and Racing Unit commenced an investigation under Strike Force Antree following reports of fraudulent activity between a casino gaming supervisor and a patron.
Following extensive inquiries, two men – aged 23 and 25 – were each issued Court Attendance Notices from 13 counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception in December, 2019.
Police will allege in court that the men – who are known to each other – used the younger man’s employment at the casino to facilitate an elaborate scheme and fraudulently obtain more than $90,000 worth of gaming chips in August.
Two men in #Court over professionally facilitated #Fraud involving #Casino gaming chips https://t.co/G31Uv78OLB#Australia #Crime #Employment #Investigation #NewSouthWales #NSW #NSWPolice #Police #Racing #Strike #Sydney pic.twitter.com/YShA8B4VDI
— Mirage News (@MirageNewsCom) January 15, 2020
A worker at Darwin’s Sky City Casino and his brother-in law have been sentenced to home detention after stealing a customer’s winning Keno ticket worth more than A$53,000.
The customer presented the winning ticket worth A$53,353.60 on September 27, 2018 to Sky City employee Michael John Rich Tomas.
Ms Tomas told the customer that the ticket he presented had not won anything, when he knew it had won and subsequently pocketed it.
He drove his brother-in-law Jonathan De Guzman to the casino the next day to cash it in.
The scheme came unstuck when the casino employee that Mr De Guzman presented to ticket to became suspicious after remembering he had sold the ticket to someone else, the court heard.
Police weer alerted and discovered A$50,000 deposited in De Guzman’s bank account along with A$6,000 in cash at his home.
CCTV footage at the casino showed Mr Tomas going to “great lengths” to hide the ticket and eventually discretely take it with him.
Prosecutor Naomi Loudon said that security vision showed the moment the patron approached Mr Tomas with the winning ticket.
“Mr Tomas handed back four of the five tickets … he then reached beneath the counter and swapped the winning ticket with another one,” she told the court.
The next day, with Mr Tomas waiting in the car park, the court heard Mr De Guzman attended the casino and cashed in the winning ticket.
Casino employees are banned from gambling at Sky City Darwin and playing Keno in the Northern Territory.
Mr Tomas gave the winning ticket to his brother-in-law for this reason.
Mr De Guzman cashed the ticket as his own and received a $40,000 cheque and the remainder of the fraudulent winnings in cash.
A casino employee found the ticket with 36-year-old De Guzman’s license attached.
The staffer remembered selling the ticket to the real winner and recognised De Guzman as his colleague’s brother-in-law.
The court head that Mr Tomas had worked at the casino for 15 years and his actions were a “gross breach of trust”.
Prosecutor Loudon told the court the true winner was repaid his prize when police recovered the funs and never knew he had been conned until Mr Tomas’ colleague informed police.
She went on to say that this was not an opportunistic scheme, but rather one that was well thought out.
“This cannot be described as a spur-of-the-moment type of offence,” she said.
“The offenders engaged in a number of conscious and deliberate steps [and] that goes to the moral and criminal culpability,” Ms Loudon said.
Most of the fraudulent winnings have been recovered, but prosecutors would be seeking restitution of more than $8,000.
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