A former manager at a Lake Tahoe sports book received a four-year prison sentence on Monday in connection with a $1 million betting scheme.
Ashley D. Dean, 32, admitted to being a principal to embezzlement and conspiracy to commit embezzlement and owes $234,435 in restitution to William Hill Sports Book.
A representative for the sports book, which operates out of casinos across the state, said they were seeking prosecution to the full extent of the law to dissuade others from similar behavior.
Co-defendant Richard Fuentes Jr., 43, appeared in court on Monday, but his sentencing was delayed a month.
According to court documents, Dean, a Carson City resident, was a manager at the Mont Bleu and the Hard Rock casinos. According to court documents, Dean told Gaming Control Board agents that Fuentes was a regular sports bettor and that they became friendly.
She said that he would text her and ask her to place a bet for him on a football game because he was running late.
According to the investigation, bets started off small at $20 or $50. If Fuentes won, Dean would pay off the bank and give him the rest. If he lost, he was supposed to pay the bet so her bank balanced.
But before long, Fuentes couldn’t cover the losses and kept upping the bets. Gaming Control Board agents discovered 74 wagers amounting to more than $1 million on Fuentes player card with 31 wins. Fuentes was making sports bets in Reno while Dean was making bets in Stateline, including three $55,000 bets on football games.
The thefts occurred between Sept. 22 and Nov. 4, 2018.
“She was directly responsible for the theft of a quarter of a million dollars,” Prosecutor Matthew Johnson said. “There has to be real consequences for stealing that amount of money.”
Johnson said a warrant has been issued for the arrest of a second employee in the case who has not yet been taken into custody.
District Judge Tom Gregory said his decision to send Dean to prison was related to the length of time she’d been participating in the scheme and that a year after her arrest she hadn’t come up with a nickel of restitution or a plan to pay the money back.
She received 364 days in jail on the gross misdemeanor, which she will serve at the same time as the felony.
Fuentes’ sentencing has been delayed until Feb. 10 while attorney John Malone gathers information. Malone took over the case at the beginning of the month after the county’s contract with Fuentes’ previous public defender expired.
The California resident faces up to six years in prison after admitting to a charge of principal to a fraudulent gaming act.