“You look down, they know you’re lying; and up, they know you don’t know the truth. Don’t use seven words when four will do. Don’t shift your weight. Look always at your mark, but don’t stare. Be specific, but not memorable. Be funny, but don’t make him laugh. He’s got to like you, and then forget you the moment you’ve left his side. And for God’s sake, whatever you do, don’t, under any circumstances…”

It’s one of the classic scenes in Ocean’s 11, when Rusty is giving advice to Linus. Just before Linus receives the most important tip, Rusty gets interrupted and walks off, leaving Linus utterly confused.

Perhaps this was the feeling for the self-proclaimed “Artist. Magician. Creator. Illusionist” and a partner from Mississippi after their get rich quick schemes failed them. The two are facing multiple counts of theft and fraud after attempting to steal over $10,000 in a 24-hour period while playing roulette at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh in mid-February. 

Rivers Casino Scammers in PA

Shaun Joseph Benward, 35, of Ocean Springs, Mississippi is accused of working with 42-year old Danielle Yvonne Derohan of Gulfport, Mississippi in the attempted roulette scam. 

The couple ran the scam five times over the course of the 24-hours. Before getting caught they successfully walked away with $3,500 in three of the five. 

Benward and Derohan are being charged with theft by deception and criminal conspiracy. These are third-degree felonies that can carry up to seven years in prison and up to as much as $15,000 in fines each. They have also been charged with five misdemeanor counts of committing a fraudulent scheme. 

Rivers Casino is on record as saying they are fully cooperating in the investigation, saying “Rivers Casino Pittsburgh has over a thousand surveillance cameras monitoring the property 24/7. We cooperate fully with Pennsylvania State Police during their investigation.”

The Roulette Racket

According to authorities, the couple arrived separately at the tables at Rivers Casino PA, then while the roulette wheel was spinning, Benward would distract the dealer, so that they would not see where the ball landed, then Derohan would signal to Benward the winning number. Benward would then give his bet to the dealer, who was unaware that the ball had already landed on a number, Benward’s “winning” number.

This is not Benward’s first brush with the law for casino-based schemes. In 2015, he was arrested for running a similar scam at the Mount Airy Casino in the Poconos. He was wanted for not reporting winnings in Dover, Delaware in an effort to avoid paying income taxes. 

It is still unknown how Benward was able to enter the Rivers Casino Pittsburgh as he was placed on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s Involuntary Casino Exclusion List in October 2015, and is also banned in the states of Missouri and Michigan by state gaming control boards. 

“Benward has been confirmed as a cheater in multiple casinos across the country and has gaming related arrests with the New Jersey State Police and Pennsylvania State Police” according to Delaware’s state lottery office. 

Featured image credit: Wayne Parry – AP