Roy Mariano, a blackjack dealer working for the Connecticut Mohegan Sun, pleaded not guilty this week to cheating the casino out of tens of thousands of dollars. Mariano allegedly overpaid a player by $78,000 and faced charges in the New London Superior Court this past Monday.
An investigation by the Mohegan Sun produced evidence that allegedly shows Mariano had paid a blackjack player $78,390. Marlene Rivera, the player, faces the same charges as Mariano but has yet to face the court. Mariano has been charged with first-degree larceny of which he pled not guilty.
It was back in September that the Mohegan Tribal Police were asked to investigate the dealer by Robert Bjork, the Tribal Gaming Commissioner. According to The Day, the surveillance footage of the casino was reviewed by Officer Thomas Nickerson, who says he found that Mariano was sneaking $100 chips into $5 chip stacks each time Rivera won a hand. A single chip was placed in the stack to seemingly avoid suspicion but to overpay the player at the same time.
Mariano was questioned by Bjork and stated that he was short on cash since the Mohegan Sun had cut him to part time, after being full time. The cut back happened in March and the dealer claimed that Rivera came to him a few months later telling him about the scam and wanting him to participate. Mariano stated he was not sure how much he received from Rivera from the scam.
Rivera has a different story. She claims that Mariano was the creator of the plan and he told her boyfriend, who started the scam with Mariano and then she took his place, sharing the cut of the money, 50/50. The surveillance footage shows the dealer and Rivera running the scam sixteen different times in August.
According to Rivera, Mariano would get his cut after his shift was over as he was heading towards the break room. Surveillance footage was unable to record any money exchange and floor supervisors of the casino were not aware that any of this was going on, not seeing any suspicious behavior.