News and Press Releases

Stephen Edward Favel Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on June 7, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, STEPHEN EDWARD FAVEL, a 34-year-old resident of Box Elder, pled guilty to theft from an Indian gaming establishment. Sentencing has been set for October 3, 2011. He is currently released on special conditions.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On December 10, 2010, while employed as a security guard at the Northern Winz Casino on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, FAVEL entered that portion of the casino where the "breaker bank" registers are maintained and stole $1,160 in money belonging to the casino.

Earlier that day, FAVEL had ended his shift at 8:00 a.m. The weather had kept a number of casino employees from showing up to work so FAVEL decided to stay at the casino to assist. At some point during the day, FAVEL quit engaging in any work-related assistance and began drinking and playing gaming machines.

At approximately 5:45 p.m., FAVEL went to where the casino kept its segregated cash registers, called the breaker bank. The breaker bank is where cash is kept separate from the regular cash registers so that if a regular cash register is unattended, a security officer, such as FAVEL, could access the till to assist a casino customer. Videotape of the breaker bank area captured FAVEL's activities as he withdrew cash from the till and counted out $1,160 in small bills. When the regular breaker bank attendant was attending to other business, FAVEL put the $1,160 in his pocket.

FAVEL then caught a ride with another casino employee who was coming off shift at 6:00 p.m. FAVEL first asked to be dropped off at his home but then asked to be taken to Havre, where the employee ultimately left FAVEL at the Magic Diamond Casino.

FAVEL was interviewed and confessed to the theft.

FAVEL faces possible penalties of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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