News and Press Releases

TULALIP TRIBAL MEMBER PLEADS GUILTY TO STEALING FROM TRIBAL CASINO
Defendant Worked as Pit Boss, Stole $5,400 in Chips

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3, 2007

DONALD C. HATCH, III, 46, of Tulalip, Washington pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to Theft by an Employee of a Gaming Establishment on Indian Lands. HATCH, an enrolled Tulalip tribal member, admits that between July 2006, and March 2007, he stole $5,400 worth of chips from the casino’s gaming tables. HATCH had family and friends cash the chips for him. When he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on January 18, 2008, HATCH faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to facts stated in the plea agreement, on March 7, 2007, Tulalip Tribal Gaming inspectors noticed HATCH on surveillance video removing chips from a roulette table. When confronted by the inspectors HATCH pulled four chips from his clothing. Later a search of HATCH’s locker at the casino revealed three more stolen $100 chips. In order to keep investigators from learning of the thefts, HATCH would have family members or friends cash four or five chips at a time at the casino cage. In all HATCH stole $5,400.

The case was investigated by Tulalip Tribal Gaming Commission and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Tate London, the Tribal Liaison for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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