March 7, 2024 3 min read


Suspect in $700,000 Michigan Tribal Casino Scam Arrested

The detainee was allegedly involved in a scam at the Four Winds Casino in Hartford when a person presented himself as a tribal chairman, asking a cage teller to give large sum of money

A 43-year-old alleged scammer was arrested recently after a $700,000 casino heist at a tribal casino in Hartland, Michigan. The robbery at the Four Winds Casino in Hartford, a casino that is owned and operated by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, dates back to last summer. The incident happened on July 30, 2023, when a casino cage supervisor was contacted by a person who presented himself as the Pokagon Band’s tribal chairman, Charles Martinez.

The person called from a Mexican phone number with a Cancun area code, asking the cage supervisor to deliver the money required for an urgent payment. The casino employee, identified with the initials D.Y., received text messages from another person who claimed to be the Hartford Casino cage director.

The fake cage director claimed he was out of town but confirmed the money had to be supplied to the tribal chairman, who was still on the phone. Those misleading actions made the casino supervisor believe that the request was legitimate. Upon reviewing surveillance, law enforcement saw D.Y. collect money from the bank drawer.

The employee took seven bundles of cash, put them in a large handbag and walked out of the casino, as instructed by the person who pretended to be the tribe chairman. While on the phone, the casino employee was instructed to be “discreet” with the money and hurry up as payment needed to be made “in the next 20 minutes.”

The casino supervisor then transported the money to a gas station in Gary, Indiana. Arriving at the location where she agreed to meet the fake tribal chairman, she gave the money to two unidentified individuals. While initially, the casino employee faced charges, those were subsequently dropped as it was identified that she was scammed.

Suspect Arrested, Police Uncovers Bundle of Cash

The Pokagon Tribal Police in collaboration with the FBI conducted a months-long investigation that ultimately resulted in the arrest of one person allegedly involved in the scam. On Wednesday, the US Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten confirmed that 43-year-old Mexico resident, Jesus Gaytan-Garcia, who did not have legal authorization to reside in the United States, was arrested in relation to the fraudulent activity.

Allegations against Gaytan-Garcia claim he was one of the two individuals who accepted the money that was delivered by the Four Winds Casino’s employee. Upon searching the suspect’s residence, law enforcement discovered a bundle of cash strapped with a paper band with the word Hartford along with a July 30, 2023, date stamp, the same date when the casino robbery occurred.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

1 Comment

  • Cheryl Baldwin
    March 10, 2024 at 12:52 pm

    Seriously? D.Y. didn’t think it odd that these decisions and orders were given over the phone, and she didn’t think to confer with someone on the facility grounds or nearby? It’s just that easy for a “tribal leader” to say give me money and it gets done without question? Nahhh. I call B.S.

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