An alleged love triangle drama gone bad with “crime never pays” subtitles has resulted in a 21 count federal indictment against the former vice-president of player development for Mohegan Sun Casino at Pocono Downs, Robert Joseph Pellegrini, along with associate Mark Heltzel. Pellegrini was already facing 177, mostly felony state charges in the conspiracy as reported in late January. Pellegrini and the third alleged accomplice, who was earlier charged by the state, but not named in the federal indictments are no longer employed by the casino.
The indictments were announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Tuesday and include charges of money laundering, multiple counts of access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
The indictments closely follow accusations made by the state after a jilted lover informed authorities about a conspiracy theme last April. Casino dealer Mathew Crane was reportedly romantically involved with cocktail waitress, Rochelle Poszelusnyi who may have left him for one of the alleged co-defendants. Crane told authorities that Poszelusnyi would collect player names, reward ID’s, and personal identification numbers from players in the course of her work and then pass them on to Pellegrini. The former VP would then make new cards, load them up with free play credits, and give them to Heltzel. The federal indictments allege the same.
The indictments allege that the scheme began in May 2014 and continued to April 2015, allegedly netting the defendants winnings of approximately $422,147.
The maximum penalty under the federal statute in this case is 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The government also wants the money forfeited.
Reliable reports indicate that internal reviews show Pellegrini loading up several player cards in a brief period of time and Heltzel gambling with them at a single “poker slot” machine not long after.
This article has been updated to correct the assertion in the former last paragraph that federal prosecutors have video surveillance footage of Pellegrini loading the cards. The US Attorney’s full public statement can be found here. For whom Ms. Poszelusnyi may have left Mr. Crane, has been changed to “one of the alleged co-defendants”.