Treasure Island Employee Pleads Guilty to
Wire Fraud for Unauthorized Sale of Slot Machines
Las Vegas, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, Keith Copher, Chief of Enforcement for the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and Ellen B. Knowlton, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for Nevada, announced that PEDRO MATA pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas today to Wire Fraud, a violation of Title 18 United States Code, Subsection 1343. MATA, a Slot Technical Supervisor at the Treasure Island Casino in Las Vegas, was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 1, 2002. He was charged with seven counts of Wire Fraud, three counts of Interstate Transportation of Property Taken by Fraud, and three counts of Money Laundering.
According to court records, between November 2000 and July 2001, MATA misrepresented his authority and position at Treasure Island as that of Director of Slot Operations when, in fact, MATA's position was that of Slot Technical Supervisor. MATA accomplished this by, among other things, endorsing documents on Treasure Island letterhead and accepting payment for slot machines on behalf of Treasure Island Casino. MATA signed the documents as "Director of Slot Operations." MATA had no authority to conduct slot machine sales without approval of others at the Treasure Island Casino, and MATA did not report the sales to the proper people at the casino. MATA knowingly made the false representations about his position and authority in order to defraud the casino of money. As part of the scheme to defraud, in February 2001, MATA contacted the owner of a gaming business in Clayton, Ohio, and told the business owner that he had approximately 116 slot machines for sale. The gaming business owner then purchased the machines for approximately $95,000, and wired the monies to a credit union account in Las Vegas in MATA's name. Upon receiving the funds in the credit union account, MATA did not forward the payments to Treasure Island Casino, but rather used the funds to pay off personal credit card debt, automobile loans, ski vacations, new home payments, and tax bills.
MATA is facing up to five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and will be required to pay restitution to the Treasure Island Casino, which is owned and operated by MGM/Mirage, Inc. The actual sentence will be dictated by the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors and will be imposed at the discretion of the Court. MATA is scheduled to be sentenced on October 7, 2002, at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. District Court Judge David Hagen.
The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Nevada Gaming Control Board Enforcement Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin J. Roberts.