Thomas Rust, a Utah man, was convicted on money laundering, drug, and tax charges. This former high roller of West Wendover, Nevada casinos laundered $384,569 in drug money using slot machines. The verdict was given Thursday April 30, 2015 by the Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court. The trial lasted for three days before the verdict was in. Jurors found Rust, a 35 year old male, guilty on one count of third degree felony distribution of a controlled substance and second degree felony money laundering. They also found him guilty on two counts of third degree felony tax evasion. Rust’s prison term could be 1 to 15 years for the second degree felony and up to 5 years for each third degree felony.
Judge Paul Parker will hand down the sentence on June 8, 2015. Court documents show that Rust and his wife were both involved in the money laundering that totaled $384,569. The money was allegedly from methamphetamine sales which occurred between January 2011 and May 2012 at the couple’s home.
During the investigation it was found that Rust put $150,000 into casino slots in just one month. This method of money laundering is not new. Any funds won through the slots are also taxable income, which is why the tax evasion charges were also included in his court case. He only showed income from a restaurant and commercial cleaning company for 2011 and 2012 respectively.
Rust’s trial was set for November 2014 but he skipped and was only arrested again in January 2015. His wife, Susana Rust, who is charged as a co-defendant was not arrested although there is a warrant for her arrest that authorities have not been able to execute.