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Friday, March 31, 2023

Northeast Minnesota casino employee convicted of stealing more than $ 300,000

TOWER, Minnesota – Woman Orr will serve eight months in federal prison for embezzling more than $ 300,000 from the Fortune Bay Resort Casino in the Tower.

Jennifer Lynn Butto, 33, received her verdict Monday from Judge Eric Tostruda at a hearing at the US District Court in St. Paul. She was also ordered to serve a year of supervised probation after her imprisonment and to pay full compensation to the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa.

Butto, a former casino check-in inspector, pleaded guilty in March to charges of embezzling and embezzling the tribe’s money. Authorities said she managed to steal $ 315,739.87 by processing nearly 3,000 fake cash refunds between January 2013 and October 2019.

According to court documents, Butto began working as a reservist in 2008 and has moved up the career ladder over the years, eventually gaining the ability to return money in cash without direct control.

“Butto’s scheme to cheat was based on this access,” US Assistant Attorney Jordan Singh wrote in the sentencing memorandum.

“Butto identified clients who spent significant money at Fortune Bay and issued a false cash refund after the clients checked out. Butto came up with various reasons for the refund, and then took the money for herself from the Fortune Bay vault. The scheme worked, and over time, Butto’s trust in her grew. “

According to the prosecutor, the average “reimbursement” has dropped from $ 28 in 2013 to $ 531 in 2019. Likewise, its total annual embezzlement rate increased from about $ 15,000 in the first year of the scheme to over $ 88,000 in the last year, which it reduced. termination in October 2019.

Although authorities did not disclose how the thefts first became known, the case was investigated by the FBI with “significant help” from the Bois Forte Band.

Sing demanded that Booth serve 18 months in prison, followed by two years of supervision. The charge provided for imprisonment for up to five years, while the rules provided for imprisonment for a term of 18 to 24 months.

Public Defender Shannon Elkins has filed a sentencing application for the press. But other government court documents indicate that she sought a suspended sentence on the grounds that it would be “harsh enough that a deterrence-based sentence was unnecessary and that such a decision would be consistent with comparable cases.”

Butto, according to the documents, reportedly stated that she committed the thefts “out of desperation to pay medical bills and make ends meet.”

But Sing challenged this explanation, claiming that Butto’s out-of-pocket medical expenses were at most $ 15,600 a year. And financial records reportedly showed that she was enjoying “a lifestyle she couldn’t otherwise afford” – spending thousands of dollars on health and beauty services, online shopping, liquor, travel and entertainment.

“Fraud tends to be rationalized, and Butto is no exception,” Sing wrote. “While the government does not dispute that Butto faced financial difficulties for his family, these debts were not the responsibility of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. Butto’s theft exploited a marginalized population and heightened feelings of mistrust in society. ”

In December, Butto was formally charged with filing information – a document commonly used when a defendant intends to plead guilty – and waived her right to a grand jury indictment before pleading guilty.

Butto, who had no criminal records, remains on probation until the date of his voluntary extradition.

World Nation News Desk
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