Former Pit Boss, Blackjack Dealer, and a Player Plead Guilty in Federal Court to a Cheating Conspiracy at Dakota Sioux Casino
Defendants Prosecuted as Part of The Guardians Project, a Federal Law Enforcement Initiative to Combat Corruption, Fraud, and Abuse in South Dakota
United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that three individuals have pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of Conspiracy Involving Theft by Employees of a Gaming Establishment on Indian Land.
Lito Banbilla Bolocon, age 44, and Jordon Anthony Rondell, age 29, appeared before U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann on August 1, 2017, and pled guilty to the Conspiracy charge contained in the Superseding Indictment. Jeremy Kris Brown, age 43, pleaded guilty to that same count on May 1, 2017.
The maximum term of imprisonment upon conviction is up to 5 years of imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and a special assessment of $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Dakota Sioux Casino (“DSC”) is a gaming establishment located approximately five miles north of Watertown, in Codington County, South Dakota. The DSC is also located on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation and is operated by the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Sioux Tribe.
According to the defendants’ plea agreements, Bolocon worked at the DSC as a pit boss, and Brown worked as a blackjack dealer. Rondell was a customer of the DSC whom frequently played blackjack. In December 2015 and through January 1, 2016, Bolocon, Brown, Rondell, and others conspired to enrich themselves by unlawfully obtaining gaming chips and money from the DSC. Specifically, in December 2015, the defendants devised a plan to cheat the DSC of monies derived during the gambling operations taking place on New Year’s Eve 2015 and into January 1, 2016. The agreement was for Rondell to unlawfully make a large sum of money from illegitimate winnings paid by Brown, and Rondell would then pay-off the other defendants for their participation. Rondell cashed-out approximately $10,000 from the DSC after playing at Brown’s blackjack tables, which were supervised by Bolocon.
Bolocon, as pit boss during that night and early morning, would oversee Brown’s and Gill’s dealing to Rondell. Bolocon knew about and allowed the cheat to proceed throughout the night of December 31, 2015, and early morning of January 1, 2016.
The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Attorney’s Office, and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Sioux Tribe’s Gaming Commission. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy R. Jehangiri is prosecuting the case.
A fourth defendant, Fern Freya Gill, has a trial date set for August 22, 2017.
The case was brought pursuant to The Guardians Project, a federal law enforcement initiative to coordinate efforts between participating agencies, to promote citizen disclosure of public corruption, fraud, and embezzlement involving federal program funds, contracts, and grants, and to hold accountable those who are responsible for adversely affecting those living in South Dakota’s Indian country communities. The Guardians Project is another step of federal law enforcement’s on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination, and positive action on behalf of tribal communities. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the participating agencies include: Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Offices of Inspector General for the Departments of Interior, Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Agriculture, Transportation, Education, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; U.S. Postal Inspector Service; U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.
For additional information about The Guardians Project, please contact the United States Attorney’s Office at (605)330-4400. To report a suspected crime, please contact law enforcement at the federal agency’s locally listed telephone number.