Posted on: March 23, 2022, 01:45h.
Last updated on: March 23, 2022, 01:51h.
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh was the site of a crime allegedly committed by two people, police say.
Pennsylvania State Police arrested and charged Shaun Benward, 35, and Denielle Derohan, 42, both registered residents of Mississippi, for their alleged criminal conduct committed recently at the Rivers gaming property. Casino security said the two worked in conjunction to deceive a roulette dealer.
Law enforcement explains that Benward and Derohan conspired to distract the dealer while the roulette wheel was spinning. When the ball landed, Derohan allegedly tipped Benward off on the winning number. He then quickly moved chips onto that number.
Police report that the duo managed to successfully orchestrate the scheme at least three times over a 24-hour period. The couple allegedly won more than $10,000 on the unlawful plays.
“Rivers Casino Pittsburgh has over a thousand surveillance cameras monitoring the property 24/7,” Rivers Casino Pittsburgh said in a statement first supplied to WTAE. “We cooperated fully with Pennsylvania State Police during their investigation.”
Casinos are perhaps the worst targets for criminals, as the businesses are heavily secured with on-site security officials monitoring the property around the clock. Most casinos are additionally staffed with a police presence.
That information apparently hasn’t reached Benward. Pennsylvania State Police say Benward is a known bad actor with a lengthy track record of trying to rob casino floors.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) placed Benward on its Involuntary Casino Exclusion List in October of 2015. The state gaming regulatory agency placed him on the exclusion list after he faced numerous charges that year, including criminal attempt, theft by deception, false impression, and conspiracy by trick or fraud.
On March 19, 2015, it was discovered that Mr. Benward and a co-conspirator engaged in a scheme to cheat at various casinos,” the PGCB explained of its decision to ban Benward.
The PGCB did not name Benward’s alleged co-conspirator in the 2015 incident. But Derohan is not on the state’s casino exclusion list, nor did a court records search turn up any other cases against her other than the one filed this week.
Benward’s legal record is a much different story. One of the two open cases against him is for a 2015 disorderly conduct charge for engaging in a fight with another person.
The other also stems from 2015, but is for the much more serious charge of being a fugitive of justice. Benward was later apprehended in that case and served an unknown amount of time inside the Delaware County Prison.
Potential Penalties Severe
Benward, who sports a baseball cap in his PGCB Exclusion List photo that reads “Fantasy Football Legend,” is now facing a felony theft by deception charge. Derohan has been similarly charged.
Pittsburgh-based criminal defense law firm Worgul, Sarna & Ness explain that a conviction for felony theft by deception is punishable with up to seven years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
Speaking of fines, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh will likely receive one soon from the PGCB. Licensed casinos are responsible for assuring that bad actors on the involuntary exclusion list, as well as those on the self-exclusion list, are not granted access.
Pennsylvania’s self-exclusion list is voluntary and confidential.