Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Foxwoods Cheat Dealer Describes Craps Cheat Ringleader As Mr. Cool At His Trial

Everything about this guy who walked up to a Foxwoods Craps table with a harem of hot babes in tow seems so cool. But his scam wasn't so cool. When are casino cheats going to learn that inside casino and poker scams using various casino dealers or pit personnel will always fall flat on its face, and usually rather quickly. When I cheated a casino I worked for out of thirty grand on its mini-baccarat table, I was the ONLY person on the inside of the casino involved in the scam. My cohorts, who took the money off the table, and I got away scot-free!

Here's the dirt on the first day of Richard Taylor's trial:

Former Foxwoods dealer Mattie Tarlton said her first encounter with Richard “Mr. Casino” Taylor was memorable. Taylor strode onto the Foxwoods gaming floor with a full entourage of “beautiful women” and “big guys,” and promptly lost $12,000 in two rounds at her craps table, she testified Tuesday. He also paid a patron $500 to “go away,” she said.

“We were looking at each other like, ‘Who’s this guy?’” Tarlton said.

Taylor, 43, of Memphis, Tenn., is now on trial in New London as the ringleader in an elaborate cheating scam involving late bets with craps dealers. He faces multiple felony charges, including first-degree larceny and cheating while gambling.
The fidgety Taylor made an instant impression in the New London courtroom, eliciting a warning about courtroom conduct from presiding Judge Stuart M. Schimelman. Obviously the judge didn't like this guy's style of "cool."

Taylor had been scratching notes on a yellow pad, shaking his head in response to comments from the prosecution, spinning in his chair and passing notes to his defense attorney, Ralph Bergman. “I don’t want you to become a distraction,” Schimelman said. “You’re very dynamic in the way that you act. Tone it down a little bit.”

Tarlton started testimony Tuesday with a craps lesson for the six jurors, explaining basics of the fast-moving dice game. A dealer can help a player cheat by allowing a bet when the outcome of the dice is already known. She is one of several Foxwoods dealers charged as co-conspirators, who are all expected to testify for the state at Taylor’s trial. State police arrested Tarlton and about a dozen people as part of their investigation.

Casino surveillance first spotted Tarlton’s suspicious dealing late in 2007, when the investigation by state police began. Tarlton was allowing late bets to Allan “Big Al” Grossman, a player police said worked for Taylor. I imagine these late bets or "pastposts" were glaringly obvious and I wonder how Foxwoods surveillance let this go on for so long. How long did it take them to spot this???

Police said Taylor worked with other players and recruited dealers, using code words such as “strawberry daiquiri” or “hot chocolate,” to identify themselves when approaching a craps table. Dealers later met with Taylor outside the casino to accept payoffs, police said. Tarlton testified Tuesday that she received a $1,000 “tip” from Taylor at a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot after their first meeting — even before she ever cheated. She described the buzz around the casino among dealers when Taylor returned to the casino in 2007. It was at the same time, she said, she started noticing other dealers making late bets for players associated with Taylor.

State prosecutor Stephen Carney plans to build his case around the testimony of dealers. “The state believes we will be able to link the conspiracy back to this defendant, Mr. Taylor,” Carney said.

The trial is scheduled to continue today.