Posted 1/5/11 : Washington county man suspected of screwing land casinos for millions
Although evidence has yet to be presented to prove the prosecution's case, a Washington county man is suspected of using a software glitch to successfully defraud several land casinos out of substantial sums of money from slot machines.
Andre Nestor (39) stands accused of extracting some $500 000 from a west Pennsylvania land casino, and has since been rearrested by federal enforcement officials who believe he may have taken Nevada casinos for as much as a million dollars, too.
The feds served an arrest warrant on Nestor this week when he arrived at the Washington County Courthouse for a jury selection procedure against him involving 650 counts of theft, criminal conspiracy, computer trespassing and other charges involving the Meadows Racetrack and Casino. Nestor had earlier been freed after paying $100 000 bail.
The prosecution claims Nestor and two others caused a high-bet slot machine at the casino to generate false jackpots in 2009.
Nestor will now be extradited to face Nevada courts after Washington County prosecutor Steven Toprani agreed to turn over the prosecution of his cases to the US attorney's office in Nevada, which is investigating if Nestor's activities form part of a larger scam.
Nestor continued to maintain his innocence this week, telling a local television station that he had been arrested by the feds for merely winning on a slot machine.
"Let everybody see the surveillance tapes. I pressed buttons on the machine on the casino. That's all I did," Nestor told the TV station.
However, Nestor's protestations may be contradicted by two other men who were charged in the Washington case and who have subsequently entered guilty pleas.
Kerry Laverde (51) pleaded guilty to three counts of receiving stolen property, and Patrick Loushil (42) had previously pleaded guilty in the case. Both are expected to testify against Nestor.