Ted Binion Murder Suspect Building $1.9B Crypto-Mining Center in North Dakota

Posted on: February 4, 2022, 09:35h. 

Last updated on: February 4, 2022, 11:02h.

Richard Tabish
Rick Tabish (center) meets with Gov. Doug Burgam (left) and Kevin Washington of Atlas Power, who will operate the crypto center on Jan. 26, 2022. Tabish is hoping the project will help him put past behind him. (Image: Fargo Forum)

The man who was convicted and then cleared of the murder of Las Vegas casino owner Ted Binion is building a $1.9 billion data facility in North Dakota.

In 1998, Rick Tabish was caught by police trying to break into a vault on Binion’s property, where the gaming tycoon stored a large amount of his wealth. Binion, 54, had died in suspicious circumstances just days earlier. But now, Tabish is looking for a different kind of treasure, cryptocurrency.

Almost 11 years after his release from prison, Tabish is the president and CEO of FX Solutions, the company behind the Atlas Power Data Center. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R) has said it will be one of the largest crypto-mining centers in the world on its completion.

And yes, the governor is aware of Tabish’s checkered history.

We were familiar with Rick’s background, including his parole in 2010,” Burgum spokesman Mike Nowatzki said in a statement. “He has done business in North Dakota for over a decade, to our knowledge without incident, including with a number of companies in the oil and gas sector.”

Development has already begun on the $1.9B project outside of Williston, N.D, home to the 2000s North Dakota oil boom. The center will include sixteen buildings, each the length of a football field, according to the Fargo Forum.

Ted Binion: Murder or Suicide?

Tabish was having an affair with Binion’s girlfriend, Sandra Murphy, when the two lovers were arrested and charged with his murder. Prosecutors at the original trial alleged the couple forced Binion to swallow lethal levels of heroin and the antidepressant Xanax before suffocating him.

They claimed Tabish’s and Murphy’s motive was to get their hands on Binion’s estate and the $7 million to $15 million in silver bars, rare coins, and other valuables he had secreted in the vault because he didn’t trust banks. He had even buried some of the treasure on his property.

The defense argued Binion died from a self-inflicted drug overdose, either deliberate or accidental.

In May 2000, Murphy and Tabish were found guilty of murder. Tabish was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, while Murphy received 22 years to life.

But the murder convictions were quashed in 2004. Tabish remained in prison until 2011 on charges related to theft from the Binion estate and a separate conviction for assault and extortion. That was to do with Tabish’s 1998 kidnap and beating of a business partner, Leo Casey.

“I don’t want my name tarnished anymore,” Tabish told The Las Vegas Review-Journal this week. “I just want to be looked at like a good person who does good things. I hold no grudges. I’ve moved way beyond that.”

Who Was Ted Binion?

Binion was the youngest son of Benny Binion, who built Binion’s Horseshoe on Fremont Street and created the World Series of Poker. With his elder brother, Jack, he took over the running of the family business from his father in the 1960s.

In the 1980s, he fell foul of Nevada gaming regulators because of his substance abuse and fraternization with mobsters. Shortly before his death, his gaming license was revoked and he was banned from entering his own casino.

The mysterious circumstances surrounding his death were addressed in a recent episode of NBC’s Dateline.