Plea For Leniency Fails Casino Swindler
Slot boss Daniel Roybal will now have decades in prison to think about the embezzlement from Sandia Casino prosecutors are calling one of the biggest such crimes in local history. Roybal, 39, and a now-dead colleague stole more than $1 million from the casino where Roybal worked as the slot-machine manager. He was facing 699 criminal counts that could have netted him 2,000 years in prison sentences. Instead he cut a deal with the Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office and pleaded guilty to 17 charges.
On Monday a District Court Judge Ross Sanchez sentenced him to 50 years in prison, more time than many violent criminals get. With good behavior he could be out in 25 years. (Man, he shoulda never pleaded out for this!)
Pleas for leniency from Roybal and his family fell on deaf ears.
"One chance so I can be home with my family is all I'm asking for," Roybal said in court. Roybal and co-worker Lynn Gallo faked jackpots and pocketed the cash, according to investigators. Gallo died before she could face charges.
"They worked a few days together, and they started off kind of small; $3,000 a day or so, $4,000 a day that they would steal on average," prosecutor Robin Hammer said. "On the very last day that they were caught they stole $20,000 in one day." Investigators said overall the pair swindled $1.2 million over the course of 14 months. They were busted in October 2006 after the casino's accounting department noticed something fishy in jackpot pay outs.
Sandia Pueblo tribal police said Roybal bought an expensive boat and camper. They also reported they found $60,000 in cash at his home, some of it in a shed in his backyard. District Attorney Kari Brandenburg called Roybal's scheme one of the largest white-collar crimes ever uncovered in Bernalillo County. As part of his plea deal Roybal must also pay back some of the money to Sandia Casino. The amount has yet to be determined.
My Take: This is a much too severe penalty for ripping off a casino!