Las Vegas Sun

July 25, 2014

Argent Probe Widens

Ex-Slot Boss Subpoenaed

State gaming officials have launched an audit to determine if money was embezzled from slot machine revenue at hotels owned by Allen Glick's Argent Corp., it was confirmed Wednesday.

Jeff Silver, a member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, said discovery of a slot machine cheating scheme at the Stardust Hotel several months ago led to the expanded audit of Glick's properties.

"We have discovered some discrepancies, but we do not know what kind of money we are talking about," said Silver.

"We are not talking about skimming because for that we would have to show management participated. We are looking for the possibility of embezzlement," said Silver.

(Skimming is a term used when owners skim money from casino count rooms before reporting the gross revenue to the state for tax purposes.)

The control board has issued a subpoena for George (Jay) Vandermark, former slot machine manager for Glick. Vandermark disappeared when the state began investigating the Stardust slot machine operation and reportedly is living in Mexico.

"If he returns we have a subpoena waiting for him, but our subpoena powers extend only to the state line," said Silver. Vandermark was hired in ate 1974 by Glick's former top casino executive, Frank Rosenthal.

The state denied Rosenthal a gambling license. Vandermark made it clear he did not want to go through the gaming licensing procedure which delves extensively into personal background.

If money were embezzled from a casino count room before the gross revenue were reported to the state for tax purposes the resort owner still is responsible for paying the tax even if he is not aware an embezzlement occurred at the time.

"We are interested to determine if the state has more tax revenue coming," said Silver.

Glick was first issued a Nevada gaming license in November of 1974 when he acquired the Hacienda Hotel. Later he purchased the Stardust, Fremont and the casino in the Marina Hotel. He has since sold the Marina casino.

He purchased the Stardust and Fremont Hotels with Teamster Pension Fund financing of almost $100 million.

The state audit covers a period when all of the slot machine money at Click-owned hotels was trucked across town to the Marina Hotel where it was counted at once, said Silver. Vandermark at one time was a general slot machine supervisor for all Argent Corp. properties.

The state launched a general audit into the Argent Corp. counting room procedures ad slot machine procedures when it was discovered some employees were taking money from the slot machine operation at the Stardust Hotel, probably though phoney jackpot payoffs.

"The general audit turned up some irregularities. This is the first time we have come across something like this and it is probably because of our more sophisticated auditing procedures," said Silver.

He said the audit of all the Glick properties and the investigation into employee thefts from slot machine money at the Stardust Hotel were, in effect, two separate probes. He said some Stardust Hotel employees voluntarily have surrendered work cards. Silver said other work cards might be revoked.

"We have delayed revocation of work cards to determine if sufficient evidence will be obtained involving persons at the supervisory level," said Silver.

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