Man must pay back $234,435 in betting scam
STATELINE, Nev. — A problem gambler received probation on condition he pay back $234,435 in restitution after a sports book scheme in which he placed $1 million in bets over the course of three months.
Richard S. Fuentes Jr. said he had $10,000 in restitution ready to go and that he would make $3,000 a month payments.
He received a suspended 19-48-month prison sentence, but was warned by Douglas County District Judge Tom Gregory that if he failed to make payments, he could face revocation of his probation.
The former manager at a Lake Tahoe sports book, Ashley Dean, received 19-48 months in January in connection with the case.
She is in Douglas County Jail awaiting transfer to the Nevada Department of Corrections to serve her term, according to jail records.
Gregory said he agreed with defense attorney John Malone that Fuentes and Dean’s cases were different.
“The court finds a material distinction between the defendants,” he said.
That is based on the fact that Dean was working for the sports book and took upwards $1 million in bets from Fuentes.
Fuentes had to give up his job as a mortgage broker after he admitted in principal to a fraudulent gaming act.
“I’m baffled, embarrassed and ashamed that I let this interfere with a pretty good life,” he said. “I’ve been on a runaway train for the last 10 years.”
Malone described Fuentes as a problem gambler who let his life spiral out of control.
“I don’t think gamblers ever think they are going to lose,” Malone said. “That was his downfall.”
He said that as a result of the case, Fuentes has lost his home and his marriage.
Fuentes also received a 364-day suspended jail sentence to be served simultaneously with any prison term.
The thefts occurred between Sept. 22 and Nov. 4, 2018. The betting started small with Fuentes calling Dean and asking that she place $20 or $50 bets on games. If Fuentes won, Dean would pay off the bank, but if he lost, he was supposed to give her the money.
Prosecutor Matt Johnson said that gaming control agents tracked 3,084 text messages Fuentes and Dean exchanged.
State gaming authorities discovered that Fuentes had made 74 wagers amounting to more than $1 million on his player card. Fuentes won 31 of those bets, but eventually bet more than he could cover, including three $55,000 wagers.
Fuentes lives in California.