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Press Release

Arrest In $700,000 Casino Heist

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that Jesus Gaytan-Garcia has been charged in a criminal complaint with theft from the Hartford location of the Four Winds Casino, which is owned and operated by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. 

          “The amount of money involved in this theft is extraordinary,” said U.S. Attorney Totten. “Unfortunately, instances of telephone scams at casinos are on the rise across the country, impacting both tribal and commercial gaming operations. Thanks to the dedicated, joint investigation of Pokagon Tribal police and the FBI, we were able to identify and arrest one of the perpetrators of this scheme that targeted the Hartford Four Winds Casino.”

          The complaint alleges that on July 30, 2023, a call came into the Hartford Four Winds Casino. The caller falsely claimed that he was the tribal chairperson and needed funds to make an urgent payment. A Casino supervisory employee, apparently duped by the caller’s fraudulent claims, gathered up $700,000 in cash and walked out of the Casino. At the direction of the caller, the employee transported the cash to a gas station in Gary, Indiana, where the employee then handed the cash over two unknown individuals.

          After a months-long investigation, the FBI and Pokagon Tribal Police were able to identify Jesus Gaytan-Garcia as one of the individuals the Casino employee met at the gas station and gave the $700,000. Investigators conducted a search of Mr. Gaytan-Garcia’s home, where they located a bundle of cash still wrapped in a paper band which was stamped with the word “Hartford,” the location of the victimized Four Winds Casino, and the exact date of the theft, July 30, 2023.

Image of a bundle of cash wrapped in a paper band stamped with the word "Hartford"


          Mr. Gaytan-Garcia was taken into custody four days later.

          “The arrest of Mr. Gaytan-Garcia demonstrates the effectiveness of collaboration between the Pokagon Tribal Police and the FBI,” said Pokagon Tribal Police Chief Mario RedLegs. “We greatly appreciate the support and assistance of U.S. Attorney Mark Totten and his staff to prosecute those that violate the law on Pokagon Band land.”  

          “The FBI, along with the Pokagon Band Tribal Police, successfully tracked down and identified the culprits involved in the fraudulent scheme against the Hartford Four Winds Casino. We take these crimes very seriously as they significantly impact the community's sense of trust,” said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “The FBI is committed to investigating fraudulent activities and ensuring justice for all victims. We stand ready with our partners to take strong action against those who engage in such illegal activities and believe they can get away with it.”

          This case was investigated by the Pokagon Band Tribal Police and the FBI.

          The charge in a criminal complaint is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law. 


Updated March 7, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice