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Published: Tuesday, 9/18/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Man found guilty of cheating at casino

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A Detroit man charged with cheating at the Hollywood Casino Toledo entered a plea Monday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court – the first of several defendants recently charged with the crime to do so.

Toyree Hawthorne, 35, pleaded no contest and was found guilty of one count of unnamed casino felony offense. Under the plea agreement, two additional counts will be dismissed at his Oct. 31 sentencing where he faces up to one year in prison.

Hawthorne’s co-defendant, Cordero Young of Southfield, Mich., also appeared in court where a new Oct. 9 trial date was set. Mr. Young, who worked as a dealer at the casino, is charged with six counts of unnamed casino felony offense and faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

Assistant County Prosecutor Clint Wasserman said that gaming officials witnessed Hawthorne cheating while playing a craps game at the casino on June 24.

Toyree Hawthorne is the boyfriend of Cordero Young’s cousin,” Mr. Wasserman said in court. He added that Hawthorne placed several late bets on the table and did not declare them as is customary to do in the game.

“Cordero Young paid out these fraudulent and late bets,” Mr. Wasserman said, that during the incident, a $30 bet resulted in a $150 payout.

Also before Judge Linda Jennings Monday was an Indianapolis man charged with a similar but unrelated offense for allegedly pulling a losing bet from the blackjack table.

David Mason, 34, requested that he be screened for placement in the pretrial diversion program, which, if completed successfully, would lead to the dismissal of the criminal case. Judge Jennings set an Oct. 15 hearing to determine whether Mr. Mason is eligible for the program.

Others charged with similar offenses in unrelated cases remain pending in common pleas court.

Most recently, two Toledo men were indicted Sept. 11 with the fifth-degree felonies. Authorities said Jeffrey Stevens, 52, of 3018 123rd St. was at the casino July 5 when he allegedly doubled a wager to $80 at the blackjack table after he had already won the hand. Mr. Stevens is scheduled to appear for arraignment before Judge Ruth Ann Franks Thursday.

In an unrelated case, Jeffery Burks, 35, of 1331 Peck St., is accused of allegedly pulling back a $25 bet at the blackjack table on July 12 after the wager lost.

In both instances, casino officials were able to review the incidents on surveillance cameras.

Warrants have been issued for two men — Kyle Snow, 36, of Oregon and Sarhad Matti, 35, of Warren, Mich. — who failed to show up at their scheduled arraignments last month.

Contact Erica Blake at: eblake@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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