Mountaineer ‘scammer’ pleads guilty

NEW CUMBERLAND–A second of four people accused of scamming a local casino has reached a plea agreement with the state, court records said.

Brandon T. Jones, 22, of Cincinnati, has agreed to plead guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit fraudulent use of an access device, in exchange for three years of supervised probation. He could still serve 1-5 years in prison if he violates the terms of his probation.

Jones must also pay $5,500 in restitution, in monthly installments, to Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, according to a plea agreement filed with Hancock County Circuit Court. A charge of forgery of a credit card will be dismissed.

Jones and three out-of-state co-defendants were indicted in April for allegedly defrauding Mountaineer of approximately $30,000 through an elaborate scheme that involved stolen credit card numbers and fake credit cards.

Hancock County prosecutors said the four targeted Mountaineer in August 2015 and used the cards to steal money in installments of $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000. They did so by receiving cash advances from the casino cashiers using fake cards with real numbers. The names on their IDs matched the names on the cards.

The complex case was investigated with the help of the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center, an agency that assists law enforcement by collecting and sharing information from multiple sources.

As terms of his probation, Jones must observe a 10 p.m. curfew, complete 24 hours of community service, report to his probation officer once a month, remain free of drugs and alcohol, not associate with any known drug users or criminals, and not possess any firearms. He also must seek and maintain employment.

A second defendant, Deshante M. Moore, 24, of Cincinnati, entered a conditional guilty plea to grand larceny in August. The plea, which included a promise of restitution in the amount of $4,000, was taken under advisement by Circuit Court Judge Jason Cuomo.

A third defendant, Tyler E. Burdette, 25, of Villa Hills, Ky., is scheduled to go to trial on Dec. 6.

A capias warrant has been issued for another co-defendant, Courtney A. Roberts, 24, of Edgewood, Ky.