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An ongoing investigation at Mohegan Sun led to the arrest last week of a former casino marketing director, accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the casino in the form of gift cards and "non-gaming comps" intended for high-rolling gamblers.
State police arrested Lynn A. Foster, 35, of Salem on Aug. 1, charging her with first-degree larceny. Foster, a Mohegan tribal member, was released on a promise to appear Aug. 24 in Norwich Superior Court. A condition of her release was that she avoid the casino.
The charge, a Class B felony, is punishable by a prison term of one to 20 years and/or a fine of up to $15,000.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Commission began an investigation of player development employees and employees of the casino's Elemis Spa in 2011, discovering that Foster may have been involved in "some billing irregularities."
Foster, who was fired last November, was then the casino's director of slots marketing, the affidavit says.
Mohegan Sun officials were unavailable to comment, a casino spokeswoman said.
The alleged irregularities involved non-gaming comps provided to "high-caliber gaming patrons" who typically exchange them for complimentary meals and merchandise inside the casino. Although Foster, given her position, should not have been involved in such transactions, the internal investigation found that her name was linked to many of them, the affidavit says.
Investigators noted that other employees may be involved in the irregularities.
In addition, Foster allegedly requested a $2,500 gift card from Crystal Mall and diverted it to her own use. In September and October 2011, the card was used to make purchases at vendors inside the casino and at retail stores and gas stations in Montville, Norwich, Waterford and Salem.
"It became evident that Foster had requested a gift card in the name of a patron as a gift, then proceeded to take it for her own personal use," the affidavit says.
At a November 2011 meeting in the Mohegan gaming commission's office, Foster admitted taking 18 gift cards totaling $11,765 from May to September of that year.
She also gave a written statement concerning other employees in player development and was fired later that day, according to the affidavit.
State police detectives met with Foster in April, at which time she gave a statement in which she admitted receiving dozens of gift cards with a total value of $15,050 and keeping them for her personal use. When asked by detectives the amount of non-gaming comps she obtained apart from the gift cards, Foster estimated it to be "around $20,000."
Foster told detectives that as director of slots marketing, a job she assumed in September 2010, she was responsible for overseeing directors of player development for slots and administrative staff. She said she catered to about 500 customers, some of whom declined gift cards, instead urging her to accept them as gifts.
Foster said she began requesting gift cards for customers and keeping them for herself.
According to the affidavit, she told detectives she did it because her family was having financial problems and that "it was just easy to do."
"She never thought she would get caught because this was small compared with all that goes on at the casino," the affidavit says.