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Love Triangle Leads to Indictments of Casino Exec

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Apr/22/2016

A 21-count federal indictment has been filed against former Vice President of Player Development for Mohegan Sun Casino at Pocono Downs, Robert Joseph Pellegrini. 

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An associate of Pellegrini’s and high stake gambler, Mark Heltzel, was already facing 177 charges, most of which were felony state charges.

Pellegrini, 50, and Heltzel, 51, are alleged to have conspired to commit money laundering, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.  Pellegrini was expected to plead “not guilty” Wednesday to the federal charges. 

A cocktail waitress and alleged accomplice, Rochelle Poszeluznyj, 38, was not named in the indictment handed down on Tuesday.

Prosecutors claim the trio conspired to generate more than $400,000 in winnings from poker slot machines using nearly a half-million dollars in free credits. 

From the Scranton Times Union:

The indictment, which does not name Ms. Poszeluznyj, alleges Mr. Pellegrini and Mr. Heltzel directed the waitress to gather information from players with “Soar” or “Ascend” level player’s cards, which are granted to bigger spenders and would allow for them to add significant amounts of free play to the cards.

The waitress stole players’ card numbers and the associated PINs from players buying drinks and cigarettes and gave them to Mr. Heltzel, her boyfriend, who in turn gave them to Mr. Pellegrini, the indictment alleges. Eventually, the waitress began passing notes and texting Mr. Pellegrini directly with the numbers, the indictment alleges.

Mr. Pellegrini took the numbers and made duplicate club cards that he loaded with free play credits, prosecutors allege. He then gave the cards to Mr. Heltzel, who took them to the casino floor and gambled with the free credits, prosecutors say.

An individual romantically involved with Poszeluznyi, casino dealer Matthew Crane, tipped off authorities in April 2015.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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