Three Former Nevada Casino Employees Charged in Embezzlement Scheme

  • The women would cash out chips and vouchers for inaccurate amounts and pocket the difference
  • They were caught on video dividing the money among lockers at Wendover Nugget Casino
  • The two that thought of the plan said they did it “because it seemed easy”
Woman holding cash behind her back
The former employees of the Wendover Nugget Hotel and Casino would process inaccurate cashouts and pocket the difference. [Image:]

Three former cage cashiers at Wendover Nugget Hotel and Casino in West Wendover, Nevada, have been criminally charged for stealing from their employer. During a span of eight days from April 14 to April 29, 2003, Erika Collazo Rodriguez, Maria A. Gonzales, and Maria E. Hernandez Perez used their positions with the casino to make off with a few thousand dollars.

The scheme was quite simple. In fact, Collazo Rodriguez and Gonzales told police officers that they came up with the idea “because it seemed easy.” In a nutshell, one of three women would bring chips or a slots voucher to the cage and another would cash it out for a different amount. Whichever person came out on top would then pocket the difference.

Collazo Rodriguez brought Gonzales a slots voucher written for 50 cents and received $1,005

In one instance, security footage shows Collazo Rodriguez receiving and counting $2,608 in chips, but then signing a Soft Count Transfer Slip for just $1,608. In another example, Collazo Rodriguez brought Gonzales a slots voucher written for 50 cents and received $1,005.

In other surveillance footage, both Collazo Rodriguez and Gonzales can be seen at different times distributing money to multiple employee lockers. Collazo Rodriguez confessed to officers to “five thefts totaling $2,205,” while Gonzales admitted to stealing $1,225.

A Nevada Gaming Control officer said Hernandez Perez played a lesser role in the crime. She claimed that any money she gave her two accomplices was to “pay for lunches that were purchased on her behalf by Collazo and/or Gonzales.”

Both Collazo Rodriguez and Gonzales were charged with felony embezzlement and theft by conversion and a gross misdemeanor count of conspiracy to embezzle and/or theft. Hernandez Perez was charged with just the lesser gross misdemeanor count.

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