On Sunday, July 30th, a casino employee at the Four Winds Casino Hartford received an unexpected call at around 2:20 p.m. The individual, Danika Nicole Young, was a supervisor for the cash cage at the Four Winds Casino, having worked there for over 16 years.
On the other line was a casino executive, or Young so believed, asking the 38-year-old to count up some money from the casino cage and bring it to him in Gary, Indiana.
How much money?
The cash cage supervisor entered her station, counted out $700,000, and stuffed the money into a bag before walking out of the casino. It’s unclear whether Young talked with any other employees throughout the process or if any other employees saw her do this. As a supervisor of the casino’s cash cage, Young allegedly had access to millions of dollars, according to an officer at the probable cause hearing on July 31st.
According to her testimony, Young then made the 80-mile trip to Gary, Indiana, where she gave the money to an unidentified individual.
A probable cause hearing took place on July 31st by the Pokagon Tribal Police Department in the Seventh District Count. The Pokagon Tribal Police Department believed Young took the money on July 30th.
Young was arrested on August 2nd in Indiana and extradited to Michigan. She was charged with embezzlement by an employee of $100,000 or more, according to Van Buren County online booking and court records. If convicted, she could be facing up to 20 years in prison.
Casino Not the First to Fall for Scam
If the recent news from the Four Winds Casino really is another scam, and Young is innocent, it’s not the first in the country. Several other casino employees have reported similar experiences. Just like in Young’s case, calls are received by team members that appear to be from within the casino itself. The caller claims to be a casino executive on the other line and asks actual casino employees to deliver thousands of dollars to someone off-property, sometimes even offering a bonus for completing the task.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) and the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGG) recently issued alerts about the scam in early July. Up to that point, the largest amount of money embezzled by this casino scam was over 1.1 million dollars.
“Criminal subjects use social engineering tactics to pose as casino executives,” says the NGCB alert. “The subjects direct cage employees to withdraw cash from the casino cage and take funds offsite for emergency payments on behalf of the casino. The imposters often pose as high-level casino executives and will contact a cage employee via PBX call. The initial call is frequently followed up with a text message to the employee’s cell phone, purportedly sent by a second manager to confirm the fraudulent instructions.”
In Nevada, two casinos were recently victims of the same type of attack, the Circa Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite. A man by the name of Erik Gutierrez was charged after officials found some of the money in his home.
Young’s mother was quick to defend her daughter, stating, “She’s a straight-laced girl. She would not leave her son. She would not throw away 16 years [working at the casino]. Something happened. Something is not right.”
Young’s next arraignment was to take place on Wednesday, August 16th, but no news has surfaced since. Playonlinemichigan has been unable to find any updates on Young’s case. When we do hear any updates, we’ll be sure to update our blog at playonlinemichigan.com.
Mac Daniel is a writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: playonlinemichigan.com