Former Bookkeeper at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort Indicted on Fraud Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 12, 2011|
WHEELING, WV—A former bookkeeper at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly embezzling $1.2 million from a Mountaineer account. United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that ANITA AMBLER, 48 years old, of Reva, Virginia, has been charged with 21 counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud, and six counts of transacting in criminal proceeds, for a total of 42 felony charges.
AMBLER was arrested this past Friday and after appearing before a federal magistrate judge in Virginia she was released pending her initial appearance in the Northern District of West Virginia, which has been scheduled for December 22, 2011, at 9:45 a.m. She faces up to 20 years in prison on each count of mail fraud and up to 10 years on each count of wire fraud and transacting in criminal proceeds. She also faces a fine of up to $250,000 on each conviction.
The indictment alleges that AMBLER was employed by Mountaineer until 2010 and was responsible for managing the Horseman’s Purse Account, which included funds deposited by individual horsemen as well as proceeds from race winnings. AMBLER is alleged to have taken large amounts of cash from the account for her own benefit and use. The indictment states that in order to conceal the theft AMBLER forged checks, made false deposits, and fraudulently issued checks in the names of family members and in the name of a business she owned known as “Forgotten Farms.”
The indictment seeks a money judgement against AMBLER in the amount of $1,230,286.00, which the government alleges is the total loss, as well as the forfeiture of real estate in Reva, Virginia, which was purportedly purchased with proceeds from the scheme. The home and five acres in Virginia was acquired by AMBLER in August of 2010 for $202,910.
The scheme is alleged to have occurred between 2005 and 2010 and was discovered during an audit which occurred after AMBLER had stopped working at the racetrack. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the primary investigative agency, is working to determine if anyone other than AMBLER benefitted from the scheme. Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort has fully cooperated with the FBI throughout the investigation.
An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt, and AMBLER is presumed innocent until and unless she is proven guilty.
The matter will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randolph J. Bernard.