May 10, 2024 2 min read


Man Who Scammed an SD Casino Risks 15 Years in Prison

The case will likely progress into a trial as the man faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000

Roberto Orellana, a man who allegedly scammed a casino worker out of $350,000, has pleaded not guilty in court. If convicted, the man faces up to 15 years in prison.

The 44-year-old was accused of scamming a cashier at Grand River Casino, a tribal gambling property in Mobridge, South Dakota. According to the allegations, the employee received scam texts on their phone from who appeared to be their boss.

The texts claimed that a firm was conducting an audit of Grand River Casino. According to the scam text, an alleged lawyer needed the money to help the casino avoid additional fines. The text told the employee to transfer the cash into Bitcoin at a machine in Aberdeen. A second text included detailed instructions, telling them to bring the money to the Dakota Sunset gas station in Mitchell.

Once there, the employee handed the money to two men who were waiting for them in the gas station’s parking lot.

The Man Pleaded Not Guilty to the Allegations

While authorities didn’t confirm how the casino realized the scam, the authorities were eventually contacted, prompting an investigation into the matter. After an expert from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation investigated the matter, the department was able to access the gas station surveillance and identify the credit card used by one of the two suspects.

The man who owned the credit card was Orellana from Omaha, Nebraska, the police understood. They also learned that he was the owner of the car that the two suspects used.

According to a report from the Mitchell Daily Republic, Orellana pleaded not guilty to the allegations on Tuesday. The case will likely progress into a trial as the man faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.

Federal authorities had requested a bond hold on Orellana but Judge Chris Giles denied changing the conditions.

The report didn’t mention anything about the man who was with Orellana when the casino employee brought the money. Authorities are yet to say what has happened to the money.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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