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Defendant Arrested by FBI on way into Pennsylvania Courtroom

A criminal defendant was arrested outside a Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas by the FBI. He was about to walk into the courtroom to face charges from state prosecutors. The state charges resulted from allegations that the defendant fraudulently obtained jackpots from The Meadows Racetrack and Casino worth nearly a half-million dollars. The federal allegations that prompted the pre-trial arrest involve the Meadows as a well as casinos in Las Vegas. According to an article in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, federal authorities say that this defendant may have stolen as much as $1.4 million in total.

The Pennsylvania state and federal charges allege the defendant exploited a software glitch in a slot machine design to falsely report jackpots and collect winnings from the casinos. According to police, the defendant would try to convince casino employees that he was a high roller so that he would receive special attention. The employees would regularly make inconsequential screen brightness and volume adjustments to the slot machines at the request of those who bet heavily.

The defendant is accused of convincing casino employees to enable a "double up" option on the slot machines that was turned off by default. This option, along with knowledge of the glitch, could cause a slot machine to report false jackpots. The defendant and his partner allegedly took turns cashing in their jackpots to avoid raising suspicions.

The state prosecutor met with federal prosecutors after the defendant's arrest and agreed to let the federal authorities take charge of the prosecution. The defendant is expected to be extradited to Nevada where the Meadows charges will be consolidated with several other cases.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Swissvale man accused in casino thefts arrested by federal agents By Janice Crompton, January 04, 2011

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