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Las Vegas Casino Scammer Receives Suspended Sentence

Prosecutors Say Suspect Was ‘Bag Man’ For Larger Enterprise


Circa Hotel and CasinoTrying to scam Las Vegas casinos out of millions of dollars could lead to some time in the slammer for a man who scored some big cash.

Erik Gutierrez Martinez, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of more than $100,000 in September and was handed a suspended sentence for up to 96 months on Monday. If he violates terms of his probation, Martinez will instead spend time in prison.

Prosecutors said Martinez was working for a larger criminal organization when he committed the crimes. He described his actions as “stupid.”

“I went into this to get something for nothing, and I am paying the consequences,” Martinez said, according to KLAS.

Part Of A Larger Conspiracy

The scam came to light in June when police received a call from the Circa casino and were told that “an unknown person” had asked for a $320,000 emergency payment to the fire department for “safety devices” over the phone.

An employee later delivered $1.2 million over three payments to locations around Las Vegas. Police said the employee believed she was speaking with the hotel owner Derek Stevens, as well as meeting with his attorney and also texting her manager.

Police later tracked the vehicle used in the theft and searched the home where Martinez stayed. The search revealed a bundle of cash with Circa-branded currency straps. Investigators recovered $850,000 and arrested Martinez, who later reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

A total of $314,000 remained unaccounted for.

Police believe Martinez was also part of a similar scam at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite and the Golden Nugget in Laughlin. Police haven’t commented yet on the larger group involved in the conspiracies to steal from the casinos.

There is also no word yet on the fate of the missing cash either. However, prosecutors indicated that the scam was part of a much more in-depth, organized plan.

“He’s a bag man for a highly sophisticated criminal organization,” Clark County Deputy District Attorney Austin Beaumont said.