AP NEWS

Casino executive, vendor indicted in alleged kickback scheme

December 17, 2019 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A grand jury has indicted a casino executive and two other people in an alleged kickback scheme, Rhode Island’s attorney general announced Tuesday.

Democrat Peter Neronha said the jury returned an indictment with 30 felony counts, stemming from an investigation into bribery, obtaining property under false pretenses and tax evasion. Michael Barlow, an executive of Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc., a casino vendor and the vendor’s business associate face charges.

Barlow pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday. Online court records do not list an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Patti Doyle, spokeswoman for Twin River Management Group, said the group has cooperated fully with the investigation and will continue doing so. She said the one employee “involved in this non-gaming matter” is no longer employed by the company.

Barlow, as senior vice president of operations at Twin River, allegedly accepted payments from casino vendor Yehuda Amar as a reward for securing subleases with multiple food court vendors and multiple business contracts, Neronha said.

Barlow and Amar purchased residential and commercial properties together in New London, Connecticut in 2012 and Barlow allegedly steered vendors and contracts to Amar to be relieved of debt from the purchases, according to the indictment.

Amar also pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Tuesday. His attorney couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Amar’s business associate, Jill Feldman, was indicted on tax charges, Neronha said. Her case was not yet listed in online court records Tuesday.

Twin River operates casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton, Rhode Island.