Scammers Convince Casino Employee to Hand Over $700,000

Scams are everywhere these days and it seems as though even casinos aren’t immune. A Michigan man was arrested recently for his part in a scheme in which a casino employee was tricked into forking over $700,000.

A scammer has been arrested for stealing $700,000 in funds from a Hartford, MI casino. Jesus Gaytan-Garcia, 43, tricked a Four Winds Casino employee into giving him $700,000, said Mark Totten, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan.

The casino received a call claiming to be the tribal chairperson. In the call, the person claimed that they needed the funds to make an urgent payment in what turned out to be a simple yet effective scam.

Fraudulent Claim

It all began when the casino received a call on July 30 from someone claiming themselves to be the tribal chairperson. This person said that they needed the funds in order to make an urgent payment. The casino supervisor duped by the claim gathered up $700,000 in cash and left the casino.

From there, they transported the cash to a gas station in Gary, Indiana where they then handed over the money to two individuals who were, at the time, unknown. Initially, the employee was charged with the theft but those charges have since been dropped.

Identifying Gayton-Garcia

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After months of investigation by the Pokagon Tribal Police and the FBI, they eventually identified Gayton-Garcia as one of the two aforementioned individuals at the gas station. They searched his home, found cash labeled “Hartford” for the casino location, and even the date of the theft on it.

Gayton-Garcia was then immediately apprehended for “extraordinary theft.” He is a resident of Mexico and is in the United States illegally. He even called the casino from a Cancun area code. Scams in both retail and online casino games locations continue to grow.

It is estimated that there may be as many as three people involved in total. As of now, only Gayton-Garcia has been charged. The investigation is ongoing as the FBI and tribal police continue to work in tandem to determine who else may be connected in relation to the scam.


Though the scam seemed to have initially worked, Gaytan-Garcia is now in custody. There has been an increase in fraudulent activities against casinos lately, especially with the growth of both retail and online casino locations. It is yet another thing that casinos must protect themselves against going forward.

Noah has worked in the iGaming space for more than five years, first as a freelancer and now as part of Duluth Media. He’s experienced in all facets of the industry and has covered plenty of sports.

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