One more of the individuals accused in a Gold Eagle Casino card-cheating case has been sentenced.
Ken Mark was handed a suspended sentence and probation for a period of 12 months after previously pleading guilty to theft under $5,000 in connection to the case.
Mark was also ordered by Judge David Kaiser to pay $3,000 in restitution by May 31 and is also not allowed to enter or go within 50 meters of a casino owned or managed by Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.
Mark was one of seven people accused in taking part in the cheating at table games at the Gold Eagle Casino over a period from October 2008 to January 2009.
As part of the cheating scheme, the dealer would give players unfair advantages by false-shuffling cards, dealing in a set order so wins were virtually guaranteed, flashing cards to players, giving insurance knowledge to players, and other cheating. Blackjack and poker were the games involved.
According to Crown prosecutor Mitch Piche in his submissions before the court, the loss to the casino from the activity was pegged at $20,000, of which $3,000 was attributed to Mark’s activities.
The Crown asked for a suspended sentence and probation, though Piche did indicate he would not oppose a conditional discharge if $3,000 in restitution were paid immediately.
Defence lawyer Jay Watson asked for a conditional discharge, and indicated the $3,000 restitution could be paid immediately. He argued the conditional discharge would be in line with the previous sentences handed out to others charged.
However, Judge Kaiser came down in favour of a suspended sentence, pointing to Mark’s role aiding and abetting an employee in committing theft against his employer.
Here Mark was alleged to have directly assisted the dealer, co-accused Christopher Stone-Spyglass, in stealing from his employer Gold Eagle Casino. According to the facts outlined in court Tuesday, during the table games Stone-Spyglass would slip 60 Gold Eagle Casino chips, worth $100 each, to Mark during table card games. Mark would later meet up with Stone- Spyglass at a location in a strip mall and gave Stone-Spyglass half the cut from the chips – a total of $3.000.
“This was a scheme, this was not a spur-of-the-moment bad decision,” said Kaiser from the bench. He took the view the public interest was not served in granting a conditional discharge.
Mark was one of seven individuals charged in the case, though charges were stayed against two of the individuals. Two individuals received conditional discharges and one a suspended sentence and probation.
With Mark’s sentence handed out, that only leaves the sentencing of Stone-Spyglass to be concluded. Stone-Spyglass previously pled guilty to theft over $5,000 for his role in the cheating.
Stone-Spyglass is in the process of paying back a hefty $12,600 in restitution over a period of several weeks, which could allow him to serve his sentence in the community and avoid going to jail.