The man accused of manipulating an electronic roulette wheel at the Tropical Casino in Bayamón and receiving USD 43,510 in illegal prizes has been charged by the Economic Crimes Division of the Department of Justice.
Edmanuel Victoria, identified by Secretary Domingo Emanuelli Hernández, is facing two counts of fraud and two counts of aggravated illegal appropriation, in violation of the Puerto Rico Penal Code. If convicted, he could be sentenced to three to eight years in prison.
The investigation revealed that the defendant visited the casino twice in December of the previous year to execute his fraudulent scheme. Through his tampering of the electronic roulette wheel, he reset it after each spin, allowing him to gain unlimited and illegal spins, ultimately leading to the fraudulent acquisition of $43,510 in prizes.
Caught in the act
Edmanuel Victoria used his key to reset the electronic roulette machine, which triggered a restoration of game credits and allowed him to play indefinitely without cost, except for the initial wager. He managed to stop the transmission of the warning and avoid scheduled tests.
However, he was caught on camera during his scheme, but he fled to Florida before he could be apprehended. He returned to the same casino floor on December 8, but authorities are now closely examining the case with the PRGC, local police, and law enforcement in the US.
There are suspicions of a link to organized crime in the US, but further investigation is necessary to confirm this.
The Property and Fraud Division of the San Juan Criminal Investigation Corps initiated the investigation, led by agent Nilda Couvertier Lassén. The investigation was then referred to the Department of Justice, led by prosecutors María Teresa Carro Lahongrais and Jahnny Rodríguez Malavé, who filed the charges on Thursday, May 11.
Judge Darelis López Rosario from the Bayamón Court of First Instance set a bail of USD400,000 and issued an arrest warrant for the accused who is facing charges for manipulating a casino game and collecting illegal prizes. However, the defendant is currently a fugitive and is facing charges for committing a similar crime at another hotel in the metropolitan area, where he collected USD19,175 in illegal prizes.
During the preliminary hearing on April 12, the San Juan Court of First Instance found probable cause for trial on the charges of fraud and aggravated illegal appropriation, and issued an arrest warrant for the defendant after he failed to appear.