For Immediate Release - May 28, 2014

Former Manager Indicted for Stealing $61,000 From Plainville Racecourse

Allegedly Stole Cash from the Money Room at Plainridge Racecourse; Manipulated Corporate Books to Conceal Theft

DEDHAM – The former assistant money room manager at Plainridge Racecourse has been indicted in connection with stealing $61,000 from the Plainville establishment and for manipulating the corporate books to conceal his theft, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office announced today.

Joseph Sears, age 45, of Pawtucket, R.I., was indicted today by a Norfolk County Grand Jury on charges of Larceny by Embezzlement (2 counts) and False Entry in Corporate Books (2 counts). He will be arraigned in Norfolk Superior Court on June 12.

“We allege that this defendant abused his position in the money room at the racecourse to steal tens of thousands of dollars and then manipulated the records to disguise his theft,” AG Coakley said. “We thank the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau of the Gaming Commission for bringing this matter to our attention.”

The AG’s Office began an investigation in April 2014 after the matter was referred by the Investigations & Enforcement Bureau of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The larceny was suspected when two audits of money room bookkeeping records revealed that they had allegedly been manipulated multiple times, corresponding to missing cash.

Authorities allege that between April 2013 and January 2014, Sears stole $61,000 from the racecourse. Sears worked as the assistant money room manager at Plainridge Racecourse, a licensed racecourse in Plainville. The responsibilities of the money room staff include tracking and reconciling transactions and counting cash on hand. 

Investigation revealed that on multiple occasions, the records were allegedly forged to show that the balance in the room was less than it should have been. Authorities allege that Sears would manipulate certain lines on the cash report by the amount of money he stole. The erroneous entries allegedly all occurred during the shifts when Sears was working.

These charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The Gaming Enforcement Division was created to handle the statutory duties assigned to the AG’s Office under the expanded gaming legislation signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in November 2011. The Division enforces civil and criminal gaming laws throughout the Commonwealth.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Patrick Hanley, Chief of AG Coakley’s Gaming Enforcement Division, with assistance from Assistant Attorney General Thomas Caldwell and Paralegal Daniel Lautenschlager, who is also assigned to the Gaming Enforcement Division. The case was investigated by the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Gaming Commission’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau, with assistance from the Plainville Police Department. The operators of Plainridge Racecourse, Ourway Realty and Penn National Gaming cooperated fully in the investigation. 

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