Illegal Alien Steals Over $700k From Casino

( – The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Michigan announced the indictment of an illegal migrant from Mexico for scamming the Hartford Four Winds Casino out of $700,000. Jesus Gaytan-Garcia, 43, was charged for his role in a scheme that took place on July 30, 2023. The casino received a call that day from an individual claiming to be a tribal chairperson who needed money to “make an urgent payment,” according to prosecutors.

A supervisor at the casino fell for the false claims, as she began receiving text messages that she thought were from her boss while she was on the phone with the scammers. The person pretending to be her boss claimed that he needed her to help him make the payment. She retrieved the cash and took it to a Gary, Indiana, gas station. She also stopped at a Walmart at the direction of the scammers to purchase a prepaid cell phone. She gave the money to two individuals, one of whom was Gaytan-Garcia.

Meanwhile, another employee called security when she observed the unnamed supervisor leaving the casino with the money. After she gave the money to the men, she contacted her boss to tell him where she was. She was then arrested by local police. She was initially charged with embezzlement, but her case was dismissed in December 2023. Authorities later determined that the phone call came from a telephone number in Mexico with a Cancun area code.

The casino is owned by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, and the investigation was jointly conducted by the FBI and the Pokagon Tribal police. They searched Gaytan-Garcia’s home in Chicago and found some of the cash in a basement safe. It was “still wrapped in a paper band,” with the location of the casino stamped on the band.

Tribal police Chief Mario RedLegs expressed his appreciation for the assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney’s office, noting that the collaborative effort was effective. Gaytan-Garcia was charged with embezzlement and theft from a tribal organization. He could spend up to five years behind bars if convicted.

U.S. Attorney Mark Totten said that casinos are facing increased instances of telephone scams. He remarked on the massive amount of money that the scammers were able to get away with stealing.

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