Ex-Vice President of Mohegan Sun Pocono casino Robert Pelligrini shall spend 32 months (or 2 years 8 months) in federal prison after admitting that he had a role in a money-laundering scam that cost the casino over $420,000.
Senior U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo carried out the sentence on a hearing last Friday, at the Max Rosenn Federal Courthouse located in Wilkes-Barre.
Judge Caputo deviated from the suggested sentence guidelines, which was 46-57 months after he heard the pleas from Pelligrini’s lawyer William Ruzzo as well as Pelligrini’s family members. Ruzzo said that his 51-year-old client is deeply remorseful for what he had done and takes full responsibility for it.
Judge Caputo also pointed out that Pelligrini had no previous serious criminal history.
Ruzzo suggested that Pelligrini be sentenced to only a year in jail, and noted that his client is just an addicted gambler, and with him working at a casino was equivalent to an alcoholic tending a bar.
Pelligrini said to the judge that he regularly attends meetings of Gamblers Anonymous.
Aside from the jail sentence, Pelligrini is asked to pay restitution for the money lost at the Mohegan Sun Pocono. The scheme was that from May 2014 to April 2015, he used $478,350 in free slot play to illegitimately win $422,147 at the casino in Luzerne County.
Pelligrini and his accomplice, Mark Heltzel of Dallas, both pled guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in October 2016. They duplicated players’ cards and cash, converting it to money from the free slot play.
A third member of the scheme, a cocktail waitress named Rochelle Poszeluznyj, also pleaded guilty to her part last year. She stole the PINs and used them to access the duplicated players’ cards.
Caputo stated that Pelligrini will serve his sentence in federal prison come July 10.