Indiana Couple Implicated in Joliet Casino Cheating Ring Jailed
Two of the five alleged casino cheats who took the Joliet Harrah's for as much as $500,000 were arrested.
Rande Thorpe, 57, of La Porte, IN, and his wife, Virgninia Thorpe, 58, of Corpus Christi, TX, were booked into the Will County jail Thursday morning.
Rande Thorpe, the former superintendent of La Porte schools, and Virginia Thorpe were both charged with burglary, the unlawful structuring of a currency transaction, computer fraud, cheating at a gambling game and computer tampering.
Virginia Thorpe was also hit with a fugitive warrant out of Mississippi.
The Thorpes are allegedly part of a band of gambling cheats charged with manipulating Harrah's video keno machines.
The alleged racket came to light during an April traffic stop in Arizona, according to court papers.
The police pulled over Randy D. Binning, 48, of Las Vegas, the court filing said.
Binning was found to be transporting more than $400,000 he claimed to have "won on keno machines that were malfunctioning at Harrah's casinos in Joliet, Illinois, and Tunica, Mississippi," the filing said.
But the cops in Arizona weren't buying Binning's story.
"Further investigation revealed that (Binning) was a member of a group of people who were manipulating keno machines to have them pay five times the winnings," the filing said. "Such manipulation of keno machines constituted theft."
The police confiscated Binning's money.
Charged along with the Thorpes and Binning are two more Vegas residents—Paul Jovenich 42 and Bulgarian chess master Svetoslav Dorobanov, 38.
Dorobanov has called the charges against him "phony" and "preposterous." He also said Harrah's is simply "very bitter for losing money to" him.
The Thorpes are being held on $50,000 bond each.
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