Mohegan Sun Pocono Scam Informant Found Dead in Pennsylvania Creek

Mohegan Sun Pocono Scam Informant Found Dead in Pennsylvania Creek

A Mohegan Sun Pocono dealer who in 2015 helped expose a cheating scam organized by the casino’s former vice-president of player development has been found dead in a creek three-quarters of a mile from the venue. The body of Matthew Crane, 28, was discovered on Saturday afternoon by a passerby who promptly contacted local police. It then took an hour to retrieve Crane, who had fallen 30-foot from the nearby train tracks, with his body brought up at 6 p.m.

According to forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross working from the Luzerne County Coroner’s Office in Hanover Township, Matthew Crane died from accidental drowning. In the meantime, Joseph Coffay, the Wilkes-Barre City Police Commander of Investigation, said that it was unknown why Crane should have decided to walk upon the train tracks, or what may have caused him to fall.

“All we can say is that for some unknown reason he began walking from point A to his destination at point B,” Coffay stated. “He chose to walk the tracks and in the process fell into the water, causing him to drown.”

Mohegan Sun Pocono Statement

Matthew Crane had been an employee at the Mohegan Sun Pocono in the city of Wilkes-Barrefor, where he worked as a dealer amongst other positions for more than seven years. His tragic death apparently took place at the “nearby train tracks that cross Oak Street to the section of the creek where Crane’s body was found,” according to local news site the Times Leader. News of Crane’s demise has left many of his colleagues and friends shaken, and speaking to the news outlet on Sunday, Mohegan Sun Pocono CEO Anthony Carlucci, stated:

“Matthew was a Mohegan Sun Pocono team member and we are extremely saddened by his loss.”

Sun Pocono Card Scam (2014-15)

In 2015, Crane, who was working as a table dealer at the time, informed authorities of a criminal scheme to defraud the casino through the use of illicit free slot play credits. Between May 2014 and April 2015, casino cocktail waitress Rochelle Poszeluznyj would observe and memorize the PIN numbers of customers as she served them drinks, after which Robert Pellegrini, the former VP of player development, would create duplicate cards loaded with complimentary spins. Casino regular Mark Heltzel would then play the slots using the fake cards, and split his winnings with his fellow co-conspirators.

After going to the police, the “elaborate scheme” was corroborated by authorities, with prosecutors at the ensuing federal trial stating that the crime may never have been discovered if not for Crane’s testimony. During the court case, it was also revealed that Crane was in a romantic relationship with Poszeluznyj, who was also involved with Heltzel at the time.

The three people were subsequently ordered to pay $420,147 in restitution. Heltzel then received an 18 month prison sentence, and Pellegrini a 32-month sentence, with both men not expected to be released until December 15, 2018 and October 29, 2019, respectively. For her part in the scam, Poszeluznyj was handed a six month house arrest sentence, and two years probation.

Autopsy Findings

Authorities took an hour to retrieve Crane’s body from Mill Creek on account of the steep terrain surrounding the water, and slippery conditions after Saturday’s rainfall. While an “accidental drowning” verdict was released following an autopsy, according to the ‘State Forensic Examiner – North Dakota Department of Health’ website, “most preliminary autopsy reports are completed and ready for release within four weeks.” However, toxicology results to determine whether drugs or any other substances have been ingested can take between two and six weeks.