A man with a compulsive gambling addiction embezzled millions of dollars from a public utility and lived the life of a “high roller” for several years before being caught. The defendant established several shell corporations to bilk a county for water well capacity rights.
As part of the investigation, investigators queried the BSA database and discovered more than 100 Casino CTR filings on the defendant. The records, which were filed over a period of 2 ½ years, included transactions in amounts of more than $70,000 and helped investigators determine the disposition of the stolen funds.
The defendant admitted to a scheme in which he created dummy companies with corresponding bank accounts and falsified documents for the companies’ sales to the county of bogus water well capacity rights. The stolen money was from a water utility fund comprised of payments received from thousands of ratepayers and developers. The defendant gambled away most of the stolen money at local casinos where he enjoyed the perks of a high roller.
In a news release, the district attorney said that upon being alerted last year of the embezzlement, he and a sheriff’s detective began working to freeze the defendant’s bank accounts and search his home. Investigators found a stash of nearly $8,000 in a suitcase in the defendant’s home.
A judge sentenced the defendant to 10 to 30 years in prison and ordered him to pay more than $2 million in restitution.