The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians own and run the Gun Lake Casino. Jordan Lewis Clark, the gaming site’s former worker, recently admitted to stealing $84,000 from it. He pleaded guilty to committing the crime in the tribal casino while attending to jammed cash-out machines.
The former worker got an indictment in March 2023 from a federal grand jury on federal charges concerning embezzling and robbing an Indian Tribal Organization. Yet, the federal prosecutors accused him of stealing several times from the property where he served as a floor machine attendant.
Even so, Clark was apprehended in May and got a $10,000 bail. His attorneys convinced him to plead guilty in his theft case in August. U.S. Magistrate Judge Ray Kent accepted his settlement on Friday.
The Missing Cash-Out Money
Reports indicate that clogging disabled the casino’s cash-out machines, hence offering Clark a perfect opportunity to steal the money. The former worker’s job was to service cash redemption terminals, self-service ticket-in, ticket-out(TITO) kiosks, and gambling machines that had malfunctioned.
He revealed that he often pocketed money each time a machine clogged. Besides, he pleaded guilty to robbing the tribal property between September 2021 and November 2022.
Clark, a defendant in the case, stated that his major task was to clear cash-out machines that had jammed around and in the Gun Lake Casino’s gaming space. He added that he usually opened the machine with a key card to unclog the machines.
The former employee picked cassettes with a wide array of monetary denominations to withdraw the crunkled currency. Then, he returned the jammed cash to the cassettes and locked the machine door.
Clark stated that he often stole money from the gaming machine before locking the machine door. He added that he stole it at least 32 times.
Even so, the former worker has to return the missing cash to Gun Lake Casino, according to the plea deal. Moreover, anyone found guilty of stealing once in an Indian Tribal Organization faces a maximum penalty of a $250,000 fine and five years imprisonment.
The Casino’s Expansion Plan
The gaming venue is 20 miles south of Grand Rapids, near the state’s most densely populated city. It has 200,000 people on average. Still, the Wayland tribal hosts more than 2,500 slot machines, a bookmaker, and almost 50 table games.
Gun Lake Casino launched in 2011, accepting players from different states. Its client base grew fast as the gaming operator kicked off a $100 million expansion project in 2021.
The Wayland Tribe started another expansion phase in May 2022 that required $300 million. It included new bars, restaurants, a 32,000-square-foot pool complex, and a 252-room hotel.
The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians was fourth in Michigan’s Native tribes with Class III gaming agreements in the 2022 tribal gaming profit list. It generated $213.6 million in gross gaming revenue.