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Burton man sentenced to 30 days on jail tether for charitable gaming crime

Detroit, Feb. 7, 2017 – A Genesee County Circuit Court judge sentenced Todd West, 56, of Burton to 30 days on a jail tether and two years of probation for stealing thousands of dollars from Flint area charities’ poker fundraisers.

West pled guilty Dec. 5 to a single felony count of larceny by false pretenses of $1,000 to $20,000. He agreed to pay Flint-area charities $11,258 in restitution for diverting money from their charity poker events in exchange for dropping several other charges. The dropped charges included two other felony counts of larceny by false pretenses and 10 Bingo Act violations.

On Feb. 2, Judge Geoffrey L. Neithercut also sentenced West to pay $438 in supervision and other fees.

West was charged in January 2016 following a Michigan Attorney General’s office and Michigan Gaming Control Board investigation of charity events at Gloria’s Poker Palace in Burton between 2010 and 2013.

“West skimmed profits from charity poker, stealing funds the charities needed to help the community,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director. “Last year, Michigan charities were awarded more than $106,000 in restitution for stolen millionaire party profits. The MGCB enforces Michigan gaming regulations to help charities avoid becoming victims of similar crimes.”

West, who arranged and operated charity gaming events at Gloria’s Poker Palace, admitted to stealing money from Blessed Sacrament Church, the church’s men’s club and rosary altar society, Knights of Columbus Council 11532 and Kearsley Hockey Boosters. He must pay the restitution within six months of sentencing.

Gloria’s and two other Flint area “poker rooms” ? ?  Pocket Aces and Lucky’s  ?  are among several Michigan locations where charitable gaming was discontinued following investigations. Since 2014, 14 people associated with Gloria’s, Pocket Aces and Lucky’s have pled guilty to gaming crimes following investigations by the Michigan Attorney General’s office and the MGCB.

"The Michigan Gaming Control Board shall ensure the conduct of fair and honest gaming to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan."