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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 1, 2016

Former Mohegan Sun Employee Charged With Money Laundering Conspiracy

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a former employee of the Mohegan Sun Casino at Pocono Downs has been charged with engaging in a money laundering conspiracy.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Rochelle Poszeluznyj, age 38, of Kingston, is charged in a Criminal Information filed today in United States District Court in Scranton with Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering.  The Criminal Information charges Poszeluznyj with conspiring with Robert Pellegrini and Mark Heltzel, to defraud the Mohegan Sun Casino by engaging in a money laundering scheme involving the use of stolen names and PINs (personal identification numbers) that were tied to players’ loyalty club cards. 

It is alleged that while employed as a cocktail waitress at the casino, Poszeluznyj had access to the names and PINs of casino players as she served them beverages.  Poszeluznyj stole the names and PINs of those players and provided them to Pellegrini, who then used the stolen information to create duplicate player club cards.  Pellegrini then loaded the duplicate cards with “free play” credits and provided them to Heltzel to gamble with, primarily at poker slot machines.  The scheme began in May 2014 and continued to April 2015, netting the defendants winnings in the approximate amount of $422,147. 

The Criminal Information was filed pursuant to a plea agreement with Poszeluznyj.  The agreement is subject to approval by the court.  No date has been scheduled as yet for the entry of Poszeluznyj’s guilty plea.

Pellegrini and Heltzel were indicted by a grand jury in Scranton on April 19, 2016 and charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.  Those charges remain pending.

The charges stem from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Investigations and the Pennsylvania State Police.  Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.           

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  The maximum sentence for Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering is up to 20 years imprisonment and a $500,000 fine.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

 

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated August 1, 2016