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Criminal charges won’t be filed in ‘Easy Money’ blunder

The office of the Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney announced yesterday (Tuesday) that it does not intend to file any criminal charges against patrons of Caesars Indiana’s riverboat casino in connection with the July 2006 incident where patrons received slot machine credits in excess of that intended by Caesars.
Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John E. Colin said, that after reviewing all the evidence in the case, it is not in the best interest of justice to bring criminal theft charges against the patrons.
‘The Prosecutor’s office has reviewed the matter for several months, and the investigation, completed in part by Caesars and in part by the Indiana State Police, was very thorough,’ Colin said. ‘As immoral as the actions of some patrons may have been, that does not make it criminal.’
He continued, ‘At first blush, a review of the facts would lead you to believe that the most egregious offenders should be charged, but ultimately the facts do not meet the elements of a crime.’
In order to substantiate theft charges, the state must show that someone exerted ‘unauthorized control over the property of another.’ After reviewing the matter, Colin indicated that the control exerted by the patrons was unintended but not ‘unauthorized,’ as defined by Indiana law.
‘It is important to remember that the slot machine in question did not malfunction,’ Colin said. ‘The machine functioned the way it had been set to function. Ultimately, it was employee error that permitted the excess payment of credits.’
Although no criminal charges will be forthcoming, Colin indicated that information in the reports will be forwarded to the Indiana Dept. of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service for their review.
‘I hope, for (the patrons’) sake, that they paid the taxes on their winnings,’ Colin said.