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Don’t Cheat the House

Christopher Stone-Spyglass used to be a card dealer at the Gold Eagle Casino in Saskatchewan, Canada. He lost his job because he was caught cheating the casino.

Reported by the StarPhoenix, Spyglass pleaded guilty to theft over $5,000. Apparently, he falsely shuffled cards and dealt them in a set order, or flashed cards at blackjack players. He even let some players take their money back after placing losing bets.

Spyglass was ordered to pay $12,600 in restitution to the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.

Back in January, Spyglass was granted an adjournment so he could come up with some cash to pay towards his restitution and avoid a jail sentence.

At yesterday’s hearing, Spyglass still had no cash. Apparently, Spyglass had been expecting a $6,000 refund from his most recent tax return filing. Turns out he received no refund at all.

I prefer waiting to tell a client whether a refund is due until after the return has been finalized. I don’t want a client relying on the expectation that a refund may be likely. A 1099 may not turn up until after the initial preparation, for example, and that may reduce or eliminate the refund.

It sounds like Mr. Spyglass relied on his expectation of a refund to pay the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority. The judge wasn’t sympathetic when Spyglass showed up empty handed, saying “It doesn’t sound like he’s put in much effort, to be frank.”

Fortunately for Spyglass, the judge adjourned the case for two more weeks to April 25. The judge is looking for Spyglass to pay $1,000 towards the restitution every two weeks. If he comes up short, he may have to serve time.

In the end, the house always wins.

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