A blackjack dealer named Roy Mariano, 52, who works for the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut ever since it opened in 1996, initially pleaded not guilty last week to cheating the casino he works for out of thousands of dollars. Mr. Mariano allegedly overpaid a player by $78,000 and faced charges on November 30, 2015 in the New London Superior Court.
Evidence produced by the Mohegan Sun's investigation allegedly reveals that Mr. Mariano had paid Marlene Rivera, age 36, an amount of $78,390. The female player also faces the same charges as Mr. Mariano. Charged with first-degree larceny, Mr. Mariano pled not guilty.
It was in September 1 that the Tribal Gaming Commissioner Robert Bjork asked the Mohegan Tribal Police to investigate the dealer. Officer Thomas Nickerson reviewed the surveillance footage of the casino and has discovered that Mr. Mariano was sneaking $100 chips (coloured black) into the $5 chip (coloured red) stacks every time Ms. Rivera won a hand. To overpay the player and avoid raising suspicion, a single chip was placed in the stack.
Bjork questioned Mr. Mariano and the blackjack dealer stated that he was short on cash ever since he was demoted in March from full-time to part-time work at the Mohegan Sun, and this upset him because he needs the money as he was handicapped. It was around May or June that Ms. Rivera approached him about the scam and urged him to cooperate. Mr. Mariano said he does not recall how much money she had given him.
On the other hand, Ms. Rivera states a different story, which the police finds deceptive. She says that Mr. Mariano was the mastermind of the scam and he was in cahoots with her boyfriend. Later she took her boyfriend's place, and they shared the money 50/50.
The surveillance footage shows Ms. Rivera and the dealer committing the scam 16 different times in the month of August.
Some of the surveillance videos also revealed that Mariano at times hid a $100 chip below a card used to cut the deck and then he slid it to Ms. Rivera.
Ms. Rivera claimed that Mariano would get his cut after his shift, as he was going towards the break room. However, surveillance cameras were unable to record any exchange of money, and the floor supervisors working at those times were not aware of the scam as they do not spot any suspicious behaviour.