[UPDATE: Anthony Patrone issued the following statement through his attorney, Donald Washington: Mr. Patrone emphatically denies every charge and allegation put forth by the Louisiana State Police in their unfortunate actions taken yesterday. Someone of Anthony's stature and success would have no reason to steal $5700, or any amount of money for that matter, and it will be plainly shown by evidence that his actions were transparent and known to many individuals. He has been aggressively candid with the LSP throughout this process and will continue to be so to get this case closed as quickly as possible. Anthony has enjoyed an unblemished 30-year career within the casino gaming industry, and in his time with Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel, he has proven to be an inspiring and transformational leader. Anthony looks forward to addressing these false charges quickly so that he can return to work, and his family can return to normal.]
Two top executives at the Chitimacha Tribe-operated Cypress Bayou Casino in St. Mary Parish are facing charges following their arrest by Louisiana State Police on theft and other charges.
Anthony Patrone, the casino’s general manager, along with Chief Financial Officer Monte Spivey, came under scrutiny after tribal officials notified state police of suspicious financial activity at the casino. According to a LSP press release:
State police investigators were able to determine Anthony Patrone manipulated the casino personnel’s database to show that a former inactive employee was active and qualified for an annual bonus of $5,700 dollars. The payout was in the form of an electronic transfer of funds to the former employee’s bank account. During the course of the investigation, it was also learned that after the bonus payment was electronically transferred, Mr. Patrone gave the directive to remove the former employee’s name from the database and conceal the electronic transfer of funds, which were facilitated by the casino’s Chief Financial Officer, Monte Spivey, who was also responsible for reactivating the former employee in the database to justify the bonus payment.
Troopers arrested Patrone and Spivey on charges of felony theft, computer fraud and obstruction of justice. They were both booked at the St. Mary Parish Jail. This case remains under investigation.
Following the arrests, the Chitimacha Tribe released the following statement:
The Chitimacha Tribal Council, along with its regulatory and law enforcement agencies, have spent the past month in full cooperation with the Louisiana State Police regarding an investigation of a single incident involving casino employees but not involving any gaming activity. As a result of that investigation, today the Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel's General Manager and its Chief Financial Officer complied with State Police and turned themselves in. We are confident this entire situation will be dealt with expeditiously and we will be able to put this past us and move forward.
The Chitimacha Tribal Council and Louisiana State Police reiterate their absolute dedication and commitment to maintaining the integrity of all Tribal Gaming operations and applying the highest standards of employee conduct regardless of position or title. The Chitimacha Tribal Council has activated a qualified and experienced Interim Management Committee, as well as Interim CFO, to ensure there is no interruption whatsoever in gaming facility operations or effective oversight of the Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel. Additional action will be instituted to finalize and complete this very thorough investigation and which will be completed in the very near future.