A Memphis man who’s been convicted of cheating at casinos in multiple states told a Lucas County judge Thursday that he placed his bets at the Hollywood Casino Toledo with the consent of the dealer.
Ellis Quinn, Jr., 52, was sentenced to the maximum term — a year in prison — for one count of casino cheat for placing bets after the dice stopped rolling March 7.
“If there is anyone who deserves the label of serial cheater, it is Mr. Quinn,” Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Ruth Ann Franks said before imposing the maximum sentence.
Quinn, who has a lengthy criminal record dating to 1981, also was ordered to pay $405 in restitution to the Hollywood Casino, where the crime occurred.
Quinn told the court that he decided to enter an Alford plea to the charge because he “knew that the dealer that approved my bet wouldn’t come to trial and testify on my behalf.”
In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit to committing a crime, but acknowledges evidence is sufficient for a conviction that could result in a more severe sentence. The court treats it as a guilty plea.
Judge Franks told Quinn she would not put any weight on his statement that the casino dealer approved his bet.
“You know the old saying, ‘You roll the dice. You get caught. You pay the house,’” she said, adding that while gambling is legal, his behavior at the craps table was not.
“It’s called sleight of hand,” Judge Franks said. “And that’s why they have cameras that look down on these tables because if anything Mr. Quinn is, he’s a professional thief.”
Defense attorney John Thebes said he and his client decided an Alford plea was the best way to resolve the case after watching the surveillance video from the casino.
Court records show that Quinn is facing multiple casino gaming offenses in Franklin County where he allegedly engaged in similar acts at the Hollywood Casino near Columbus.
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