New London Court Judge Schimelman Sentences Richard "Mr. Casino" Taylor for Craps Cheating Offense
Just before he received his ten years in prison with 3 years probation sentenced on July 24th, 2009, Mr. Richard "Mr. Casino" Taylor is still insistently arguing that he was a very good craps player so people wrongly assumed that he is cheating at the casinos in the area. Taylor said that he is the best dice player all over the world so he does not need to cheat. He said that if you wager with the odds the casino facilities, you are going to win.
A 6-member jury in May found 43 year-old Richard Taylor of Memphis, Tennessee, guilty of being the instigator of a craps cheating scam together with about a dozen casino dealers in the area, costing Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun $70,000 two years ago. The charges included conspiring to commit first degree larceny, 1st degree larceny and craps casino cheating.
New London Superior Court Judge Stuart M. Schimelman said that he wanted his decision to send a message of deterrence or warning to anyone thinking of taking part in illegal gaming in state of Connecticut. Schimelman stated that he received the most letters for any case he has handled over from Taylor's supporters. He stated that he read each one of them and they all said that Taylor was a good man who suffered from a gaming addiction. Schimelman said that Taylor's neighbors and friends may call it a gaming addiction but he calls it arrogance in Taylor's part.
Prosecutor Stephen M. Carney described the accused as incorrigible as shown by his difficulty of sitting still in court while his case is being heard. But Carney said that Taylor was not being prosecuted because of his gaming addiction but for cheating and breaking the law of the state of Connecticut that has caused a lot of damage.
Carney said that the casino dealers who were involved in the craps cheating scam could not be considered victims but their lives were ruined after meeting Taylor. They lost their livelihood and suffered different consequences to their relationships with their own families. Foxwoods officials who attended the sentencing declined Judge Schimelman's invitation to comment.
Schimelman said that Taylor tend to blame everyone else except for himself-the casino dealers and then the casino facilities for preying on senior citizens and minorities-and tried to outwit the legal system like he did the gaming system with manipulative actions in court and appeals.
At one point before the sentencing, when Judge Schimelman said that the jury had no question that Taylor was guilty of the charges, Taylor, with defense lawyer Ralph Bergman at his side, said, "Objection." Schimelman denied Taylor the chance to speak out.
Taylor, who is a self-proclaimed gamer who said that he played at casino facilities all over the world, said at the trial that he was a VIP, making $3000 to $5,000 bets and giving hundreds of dollars in tips to casino dealers. Taylor said that those tips attracted the attention of the real masterminds behind the craps cheating scam and that those casino dealers lied about Taylor's involvement in the case.
Several Foxwoods casino dealers testified to permitting late wagers at the craps table for Taylor or others who state prosecutors said were associates of Taylor. The game of craps relies on casino dealer to take wagers before the dice are thrown. Casino dealers stated that they use code words like "strawberry" or "hot chocolate" to identify cheating craps players. They later were paid a portion of their winnings. Taylor plans to appeal the decision and Schimelman set a $350,000 appeals bond.
Taylor was sentenced to thirteen years in prison, suspended after ten years and a probation of 3 years that includes a requirement that he undergo problem gaming counseling and bans him from entering casino facilities and playing in online casinos. Criminal cases are pending against eleven former Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun employees who were apprehended after eleven months of investigation by the state police.