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Press Release

$700,000 Casino Heist Indictment Filed In Federal Court

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 a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Jesus Gaytan-Garcia with one count of interstate transportation of stolen money and one count of theft from the Hartford location of the Four Winds Casino, which is owned and operated by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. Gaytan-Garcia made his initial appearance on the two-count Indictment today.

          “This case demonstrates the need for all businesses, organizations, and citizens in the Western District and beyond to be diligent and cautious about phone and internet scams,” said U.S. Attorney Totten. “Thanks to the persistent and dedicated investigators at the Pokagon Tribal Police Department and FBI, we were able to identify Mr. Gaytan-Garcia as one of the perpetrators of this theft-scam and he will be held to account for this brazen crime.”

          As previously outlined in a criminal complaint, the allegations are 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 misled 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 money 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 who allegedly met the casino employee at the gas station and received 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"

          “Today’s indictment is the result of the persistent and collaborative efforts of our federal partners and the Pokagon Tribal Police,” said Pokagon Tribal Police Chief Mario RedLegs. “Not only does this move us closer to holding those accountable for the theft from Four Winds Hartford, but it also sends a clear message that the Pokagon Band will not tolerate criminal activity of any kind at our casinos.”

          “Today’s indictment is a major step in bringing healing to the Pokagon Tribal community,” said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “Anyone who conspires to commit these large-scale thefts will answer to the law and our office, along with our partners, will be there to hold them accountable.”

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

          The charges in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law. 



Updated March 26, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice