Haywood Co. Man Sentenced To Prison On Theft Charges
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Keith Alan Franklin, 27, of Waynesville, N.C. was sentenced today to 27 months in prison on theft charges, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger also ordered Franklin to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $475,000 as restitution to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino (Harrah’s).
Acting U.S. Attorney Rose is joined by Matthew Quinn, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Charlotte Field Division and Chief Ben Reid of the Cherokee Indian Police Department in making today’s announcement.
According to court records and today’s sentencing hearing, from October 2013 to April 2014, Franklin embezzled money from Harrah’s, a gaming establishment operated by and for and licensed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Court records show that at the time of the offense Franklin was employed at Harrah’s and had direct access to the casino’s funds. According to court records, Franklin routinely stole money while working at Harrah’s by exploiting a flaw in the casino’s security system. Court records indicate that Franklin stole more than $400,000 from the casino in this manner and used the money to buy numerous cars and to support his personal lifestyle. Franklin was fired in April 2014 after Harrah’s discover the theft and pleaded guilty in October 2014 to one count of theft by an employee of gaming establishments on Indian lands.
Franklin is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
The U.S. Secret service handled the investigation assisted by the Cherokee Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Gast prosecuted the case.