Rather than jail time, an Illinois man was sentenced to eight years of probation resulting from several charges related to casino fraud in Indiana.
Last month, Chicago native Elliot J. Blunt pleaded guilty to corrupt business influence, fraud on a financial institution, fraud and theft. Blunt admitted to having been involved in illegal activity, from using and selling drugs to being a participant in a scheme where stolen credit cards were used to dupe two Indiana casinos out of $60,000, as reported by the Kokomo Tribune.
One of five suspects, the 25-year-old carpenter’s assistant admitted to using a credit card belonging to a 75-year-old Rhode island woman in order to secure a cash advance of approximately $4,500 at the Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in April 2014. Blunt told the court he received $1,500 for accommodating the request. For his role in the casino fraud, a Madison Circuit Court judge in Anderson sentenced him to eight years’ probation. On Monday, Blunt said he understood that he was given a rare deal by the judge and if he has to be broke in order to stop doing “dumb stuff” he’ll be broke.
He received the sentence in spite of his admission of recently being given two years’ probation for battery charge in November 2014 and an arrest in Cook County, Illinois in December for possession of a controlled substance. Daniel K. Whitehead, Blunt’s attorney, said given the severity of the charges, the leniency shown by the judge was surprising. The attorney said he attempted to explain to his client that many other people would be affected by his ability to stay out of trouble and that he doesn’t want him to “blow it for other people in the system.” Whitehead said, “I pray that he makes the system look good.”
Of the other four suspects, 27-year-old Michael J. Johnson of Glenwood, Illinois was apprehended and is scheduled for a jury trial on May 4 in Madison, while arrest warrants have been issued for Timothy A. Smith, 26, of Flossmoor, Ill; Jude C. Sayles, 26, of Indianapolis, and Brandon K. Massey, 26, of Calumet City, Ill, who remain at large.