Casino embezzler faces 1-10 years |

Casino embezzler faces 1-10 years

Maggie O'Neill

MINDEN – A former Stateline casino pit boss has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $1 million from Harveys Resort Casino.

Jason Lawrence, 29, is scheduled to be sentenced May 25 before 9th Judicial District Judge Michael Gibbons.

The Carson City man plead guilty to one count of grand theft, a felony, on Monday. He faces one to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Lawrence reportedly took chips and cashed them in connection with another individual who worked at the casino, 22-year-old Stephen Johnson of Dayton.

An August trial date is set in Johnson’s case.

Other charges of burglary, forgery and conspiracy were dropped against Lawrence in the plea bargain.

The two were arrested in June 2003 after investigations by casino security and the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Lawrence used his authority to sign a wrong name on credit markers for Johnson, who would allegedly cashed them for profits the two would share.

Authorities believe the scam started around December 2002.

More than $1.6 million was taken from the casino. A little more than $400,000 was seized in the investigation. Lawrence agreed to nearly $1.2 million in restitution for the difference.

As part of the $400,000 seized assets, Lawrence is giving up money from two banking accounts, his $155,000 cash bond and a pair of 2003 BMWs.

He must also make monthly restitution.

– Tribune staff reporter William Ferchland contributed to this report.

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