AP NEWS

Former Mohegan Sun Server Pleads To Scam Charges

September 8, 2016

WILKES-BARRE — The former Mohegan Sun Pocono cocktail waitress accused of swiping card information in a scam that cost the casino more than $420,000 pleaded guilty Thursday to federal money laundering charges.

Rochelle Poszeluznyj, 38, of Kingston, was accused of conspiring with the casino’s former vice president of player development, Robert Joseph Pellegrini, 50, of Fairview Township, and gambler Mark Joseph Heltzel, 52, of Dallas, to defraud the casino by using $478,350 in free slot play to illegally win $422,147.

Poszeluznyj faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 at her sentencing. Under terms of a plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a reduced sentence if Poszeluznyj sufficiently accepts responsibility for her actions.

She will be sentenced Dec. 13.

According to prosecutors, Poszeluznyj collected players’ card information from high-end customers with “Soar” or “Ascend” level accounts as she served them drinks. Using his executive casino access, Pellegrini then made copies of the cards, added free play to them and gave them to Heltzel, who played mostly poker slot machines to win money, prosecutors allege.

Between May 2014 and April 2015, the scheme netted the conspirators $422,147, according to prosecutors.

Pellegrini and Heltzel have pleaded not guilty after being hit in April with a 21-count federal indictment on money laundering, fraud and identity theft charges. Both men have entered into plea negotiations with prosecutors, although court records indicate they have not yet reached an agreement.

570-821-2058, @cvjimhalpin