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Four sentenced in $4 million casino theft

An Atmore man was one of four defendants, all former employees of Poarch Band of Creek Indians, who was recently sentenced to serve time in federal prison for their role in a scheme that netted more than $4 million in ill-gotten funds from Wind Creek Casino in Montgomery.

Federal Judge L. Scott Coogler ordered in the case of USA v. Haynes et al that Jacob Byrd, 33, of Atmore serve 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, in exchange for his guilty plea to one count of theft from an Indian gaming establishment by an officer or employee. Byrd, who was initially charged with three counts, reportedly began serving his sentence on March 2.

Byrd was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the court and to repay $1,108,957 to PCI Gaming Authority.

The Atmore man’s position within the tribe or any of its business entities is unknown.

His co-defendants — Adam Joel Haynes, Tavon Milak Rampersant and Leandershawn Adams, all from Montgomery (no ages provided) — also were allowed to plea to one count each of theft from an Indian gaming establishment by an officer or employee.

Haynes was initially indicted by a federal grand jury on just one count, while Rampersant was charged with two counts and Adams four. Each accepted a plea bargain that admitted guilt to only one count.

Haynes was also ordered to serve 30 months behind bars and three years of supervised release, and to also make restitution of $1,108,957. Adams was sentenced to serve 12 months and one day in prison and to repay $1,023,186; Rampersant was handed a prison sentence of 18 months and his restitution requirement was set at $806,308. Each was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.

Judge Coogler ruled that none of the defendants has the ability to pay interest on the stolen funds and waived the standard interest requirement for each.

Like Byrd, Haynes and Adams began serving their sentences on March 2, while Rampersant was ordered to surrender to U.S. Bureau of Prisons officials on May 9.

All four defendants were ordered to begin making payments — at a minimum of $100 per month — as soon as they began their respective term of supervised release.

Details of the theft plot were unavailable. The judge issued a protective order “limiting the disclosure and dissemination of certain proprietary and confidential information” in response to a motion filed by attorneys for Wind Creek Montgomery asking that details of the crime be kept confidential.