A man named Todd A. Brown is being prosecuted for money laundering and will appear at a federal court in Ohio. He attempted this illicit activity in Casino Toledo several years ago by “fast feeding” slot machines at this casino in Hollywood. If he is proven guilty, he could end up to 20 years in prison as he is currently being charged on 15 counts.
The prosecutors stated that the 40-year-old man from Arizona was spending a lot of time at the casino. His stay there was the most frequent in the period between March 1, 2016, and June 14, 2017. According to them, the man managed to force-feed slots and get a total of $138,843.
He would feed all the money into slot machines and play a couple of spins. After that, there would be a lot of unused money that he already inserted in the slot. He would then ask the casino for a payout of his unused balance, laundering the money along the way. The money he laundered came from selling drugs illegally, according to prosecutors.
The activity for which Brown is accused is not that innovative. In fact, criminals use casinos (slot machines in particular) to launder money all the time. They are very difficult to detect, especially if they don’t use a lot of money at once. Annemarie McAvoy, one of the prosecutors, stated in this article that it was difficult to determine the actual fund source for those criminals. In other words, law enforcement doesn’t have a clue how to connect the money laundering operations with their real source. Tracking down the money is very difficult in this case. McAvoy added that criminals were always looking to somehow launder their illegally obtained gains by finding a way to legitimize them.
How Was Brown Caught?
At this point, there’s no clear way to determine whether Brown was laundering money or not. However, regular and ordinary slot players do not act that way. So, when someone fast-feeds a slot machine, they are immediately suspicious for some sort of money laundering. At that moment, casino operators can report these players.
According to Kerry Myers, an FBI accountant, and former attorney, the government of the United States is doing its best to monitor how much money is being placed in slot machines nation-wide. All casinos in the US that have revenues greater than $1 million a year must file the so-called Currency Transaction Report (CTR). This report will help them have a better overview of all deposits and withdrawals for all people who deposited or withdrew more than $10,000 cash.
Brown did not think the whole thing through. His plan was wrong from the very beginning as he always visited the same casino for more than a year. Therefore, he was an easy target for law enforcement, and he is now in the trial process.
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