Two Female Gambling Addicts, Two $1.7 Million Heists, Two Prison Sentences
Posted on: August 23, 2016, 06:00h.
Last updated on: October 12, 2016, 08:40h.
Two female gambling addicts have unintentionally produced one of the more ironic casino stories in recent history.
The parallels of their separate accounts are eerily similar.
Both women stole $1.7 million from their employers in order to fuel their gambling addictions. Both were caught and sentenced to similar prison sentences, and the two ladies are within three years of age.
Patricia Meehan, 51, of Connecticut pled guilty in 2010 to stealing and gambling away $1.7 million from the law firm where she worked as a paralegal. She was sentenced to 46 months in prison and three years probation, but upon her release in 2013 she almost immediately went back to the casino.
Diane Eiler, 48, of Minnesota apparently took a page out of Meehan’s book. The grandmother and former accounting director at AgQuest Financial Services swindled $1.7 million from the firm between 2006 and 2015.
During that timeframe, Eiler lost the ill-gotten money at Jackpot Junction Casino in Morton, Minnesota. District Court Judge Patrick Schiltz sentenced Eiler this week to 42 months in prison and three years supervised probation.
Player’s Card Rewards Cops
Meehan’s quick return to the slots was rather easy to track for probation officials. Not only did she routinely use her player’s rewards card at Foxwoods Resort Casino, but her new employer, a hairdresser where she worked as a receptionist, reported missing money from the business.
Meehan stopped using her Foxwoods card in an effort to conceal her gambling, but her lucky streak led to unlucky detection. She won more than $7,000 on slots in March 2016, and by law casinos are required to identify persons who win over $1,200 at a machine.
Because she violated her parole, Meehan will report back to prison on September 28 for an additional two months behind bars. Two years of supervised home release is being tacked on to her probation.
Addiction No Excuse
Eiler was making $75,000 a year working at AqQuest, but that salary simply couldn’t keep up with her severe gambling addiction. Her attorney tried to make the case that Eiler’s compulsion prevented her from making rational decisions, and therefore a prison sentence wasn’t merited.
“Eiler has a gambling addiction that overtook her life,” her attorney told the court. Eiler asked for only probation in order to continue caring for her grandchildren and her son who is battling a drug addiction.
Judge Schiltz didn’t budge. Schiltz ordered Eiler to pay $1.7 million in restitution after she serves her 42 months in prison.
“Eiler systematically abused the trust of her employer,” Minnesota District Assistant US Attorney Joseph Thompson said. “The sentence imposed today by the court demonstrates that financial crimes are taken seriously and that white collar criminals are subject to significant consequences.”
Problem Gambling Big Problem
The two female gambling addicts seemingly did little to try and overcome their betting dependencies. Aside from trying to cover up their thefts, they did nothing to hide their casino activity.
The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) says two million Americans meet the criteria for pathological gambling, and another four to six million could be deemed problem gamblers.
The social cost of problem gambling is estimated to reach $7 billion a year.
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