A former cocktail waitress at the Mohegan Sun Pocono Casino will plead guilty in a slots scam that netted her and two accomplices $420,000.
The waitress, Rochelle Poszeluznyj, conspired with a gambler and another employee to cheat slot machines at the northeastern Pennsylvania casino.
According to federal prosecutors in Scranton, PA, Poszeluznyj collected player’s club information and gave it to the accomplice, Mark Heltzel, who used it to tally over $478,000 in free slots play.
Heltzel then used this free play to win over $422k in real money, which he split with Poszeluznyj and Mark Pellegrini, Mohegan Pocono’s vice president of player development.
As we reported in January, Pellegrini was responsible for duplicating player’s club cards with the free play and distributing them to Poszeluznyj.
“Pellegrini had access to create duplicate cards using their name, card number and PIN,” the New York Daily News explained. “If the player had $300 worth of comped free slots play on the card, Pellegrini would increase the amount higher, say to $800. Pellegrini would then give that card to Mark Heltzel.”
McCall reports that the signed plea agreement shows that the waitress will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The maximum penalty for money laundering under federal guidelines is 14 years in prison, although this largely depends on the amount of money stolen.
Poszeluznyj and her accomplice certainly stole a lot of money. But it’s unlikely enough to draw anywhere close to a maximum penalty. Plus, by striking the plea deal, she should see her incarceration time drastically reduced.
Slots cheating incidents have gone down as computerized machines have become more advanced. But when there are employees working together to cheat a casino, it becomes much easier due to the inside access that they have.
In this case, Pellegrini used his access to player club information to conspire with Poszeluznyj and Heltzel to bilk the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino.