Former Gun Lake Casino Employee Pleads Guilty to Stealing $84K
Posted on: September 10, 2023, 08:20h.
Last updated on: September 11, 2023, 11:20h.
A former Gun Lake Casino employee has admitted to stealing more than $84,000 from the property owned and operated by the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians.
A federal grand jury in the Western District of Michigan in March indicted Jordan Lewis Clark on federal charges related to embezzlement and theft from an “Indian Tribal Organization.”
Federal prosecutors alleged that Clark repeatedly stole from the Gun Lake Casino while working at the property as a floor machine attendant. After being arraigned in May and released on $10,000 bail, Clark and his attorneys concluded it was in his best interest to admit his guilt.
Clark entered a plea agreement late last month, and US Magistrate Judge Ray Kent accepted the settlement late last Friday. Clark pleaded guilty to a single charge of theft from an Indian Tribal Organization.
Cash Out Money Disappears
Federal prosecutors alleged, and Clark later admitted to, stealing at least $84,564 from the Gun Lake Casino. Clark conceded to stealing the money from “cash out machines” that became disabled after clogging.
Clark’s job responsibility included tending to machines and self-service ticket-in, ticket-out (TITO) kiosks and cash redemption terminals when they malfunctioned. Clark said he frequently pocketed some of the cash when the machines clogged.
Clark admitted in his plea deal to stealing from the tribal casino from roughly September 2021 through November 2022.
Defendant admits that part of his job was to help clear out jams in the ‘cash out machines’ located in and around the Gun Lake Casino floor,” the plea deal reads. “To clear out jams in these machines, Defendant admits that he used a key card to open the machine, took out the cassettes that hold currency in various monetary denominations, removed the crunkled or misfed currency, placed the previously jammed cash back into the cassettes, and finally closed the machine door.”
But Clark added that before he closed the machine door, “he would also steal cash from the machine.”
Clark said he stole cash from the machines on no less than 32 separate occasions. The plea deal requires by law that Clark make full restitution of the stolen money to the Gun Lake Casino.
Clark additionally faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the maximum penalty for a person found guilty of a single theft of an Indian Tribal Organization.
Gun Lake Expansion
Gun Lake Casino is roughly 20 miles south of Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second most populated city with about 200,000 people. The Wayland tribal casino has over 2,500 slot machines, nearly 50 table games, and a sportsbook.
The casino, which opened in early 2011 and underwent a significant $100 million expansion in 2021, will soon have an on-site hotel. In May 2022, the tribe broke ground on the casino’s next expansion phase, a $300 million undertaking.
The project includes a 252-room hotel, a 32,000-square-foot indoor pool complex, a spa, and new restaurants and bars.
In terms of 2022 tribal gaming revenue, the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians ranked fourth among Michigan’s federally recognized tribes holding Class III gaming compacts. The Gun Lake Casino reported gross gaming revenue of about $213.6 million last year.
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