An Ohio man has filed a civil rights complaint against the operator of Resorts Casino Hotel, DGMB Casinos LLC, and the state over his 2012 indictment for alleged computer theft.
Darrell Miller, of Cincinnati, was indicted May 23, 2012, over allegations he manipulated Resorts’ slot machines to get thousands of dollars in free casino play that he did not earn.
Resorts claimed Miller and dozens of others found a flaw in the computer system that failed to recognize players had been in the casino to redeem their free play offers. The flaw sent more than $10,000 a month to Miller in free play, Resorts claimed.
Miller is seeking to recover more than $35,000 in legal fees and expenses as well as punitive damages for the malicious prosecution, according to a news release from his attorney, Sebastian Ionno.
On Nov. 2, 2012, the criminal case against all defendants was dismissed due to lack of evidence that a crime had been committed.
According to Ionno, the prosecution made two errors that led to the dismissal.
First, Deputy Attorney General Yvonne Maher admitted to failing to instruct the grand jury as to the statute under which she was trying to indict Miller, as required by state law.
Second, Detective Sgt. Paul Horsey of the State Police, Casino Gaming Bureau, misrepresented Miller’s involvement in the claims by Resorts.
After Resorts discovered the flaw, it identified about 30 people it wanted prosecuted to regain some of its losses, according to the testimony of Steve Laning, a senior investigator at Resorts.
On Jan. 17, 2012, Horsey led a task force that arrested five people at Resorts and charged them with computer theft.
When the prosecutor asked Horsey if Miller’s involvement in that operation was determined through video surveillance, Horsey replied, “Yes, that is correct.”
However, a review of the tapes showed Miller was not on any of the tapes because he was in Cincinnati during the State Police sting operation, according to Ionno.
The suit claims Resorts violated Miller’s civil rights by “an improper, illegal and perverted use of the … legal process in a way that was neither warranted nor authorized by law and with the ulterior motive of using the criminal justice system to recapture losses that resulted from its own negligence.” Co-defendants in the suit are the state of New Jersey, Deputy Attorney General Yvonne Maher and Horsey.
DGMB Casinos LLC and Laning have denied all claims and asserted a cross claim for contribution and indemnification against the state co-defendants. This means if negligence is found, then Resorts believes the state of New Jersey was also negligent in its prosecution of Miller.
Resorts did not return a request for comment.