Former Mississippi casino worker headed to prison for stealing cash

Published 9:46 pm Monday, March 22, 2021

A former Mississippi casino worker was sentenced to three years in federal prison Friday for stealing money from the casino.

Darren Nickey, 31, a former employee of the Pearl River Resort – Silver Star Casino, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate to 36 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for theft by an employee of a gaming establishment on Indian lands, announced Acting United States Attorney Darren J. LaMarca. Nickey was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $18,340.

From March 2016 through May 2016, on three separate occasions, Nickey embezzled over $1,000 at a time from cash recyclers in the Casino. Because he worked as a cashier in the retail store on the premises, Nickey had access to the cash recycler to stock his cash register. He also made use of colleagues’ log-in passwords to hide the cash thefts. Further investigation revealed that Nickey had repeated the thefts to total $18,340 in over 40 withdrawals.

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Nickey was indicted on December 12, 2018, on three counts of theft from the Silver Star Casino. He pled guilty before Judge Wingate on February 19, 2019.

Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca stated, “Federal law imposes severe penalties for crimes committed in licensed gaming establishments. The great potential for misconduct in these settings calls for constant vigilance and self-discipline of those entrusted with the casinos’ operation.”

Acting U.S. Attorney LaMarca commended the work of the Choctaw Police Department of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, who investigated the case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Theodore Cooperstein and Kevin Payne.