Man sentenced to prison after Idaho casino thefts

Man sentenced to prison after Idaho casino thefts

In this Oct. 25, 2012 photo, a gambling school students take practice on a table in Macau, China. Hordes of Chinese high rollers flooding into Macau have turned the city into an Asian casino boomtown but they’re also posing a challenge for China’s next generation of leaders.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A 32-year-old eastern Idaho man is headed to prison for a year after acknowledging he stole thousands from an Indian reservation casino.

John R. Mejia of Rigby was sentenced Tuesday to 12 months plus a day, followed by three years of supervised release and the requirement he repay $177,611.

Mejia was indicted in July 2011, on one count of theft from the Shoshone-Bannock Fort Hall Casino. He'd been working there as a gaming technician and admitted he took money from the casino by creating duplicate vouchers from gaming machines and redeeming the vouchers for cash.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill says Mejia didn't merely steal from a casino, he targeted a nation of 5,000 people: The Shoshone-Bannock tribes. U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson adds that Mejia abused the public's trust.