A shocking incident unfolded at the Four Winds Hartford Casino in Hartford, Michigan, as authorities revealed that a casino employee, Danika Young, allegedly made off with a staggering $700,000. The suspected embezzlement took place on July 30, and even though Young is now in custody, the money has yet to be recovered.
Investigators have disclosed that Young, 38, deserted her post at the casino and was later apprehended in Gary, Indiana. However, the hefty sum she purportedly stole remains unaccounted for. During questioning, Young claimed that she received an unidentified call, instructing her to bring the money to Gary without providing further details.
According to court testimony, Young meticulously counted out the astonishing sum of $700,000 and packed it in a bag before calmly walking out of the casino. Upon arriving in Gary, she allegedly handed the money over to an unknown individual. Authorities are still actively investigating the identity of this person and if any leads can be pursued.
Young, who was subsequently detained in Gary, underwent extradition back to Michigan. Presently, she faces charges of embezzlement by an employee of $100,000 or more and was booked into the Van Buren County Jail on Wednesday. During her arraignment, Young expressed remorse and explained that this was her first criminal charge.
Court officials revealed that as the supervisor of the cash cage, Young was entrusted with the responsibility of managing millions of dollars. Her public defender highlighted her 16-year tenure at Four Winds and the support she receives from her family. However, the presiding judge, Arthur Clarke, deemed these factors insufficient to grant her bond on personal recognizance.
Citing concern over the whereabouts of the missing $700,000, Judge Clarke set Young’s bond at an imposing $1 million. Highlighting the potential gravity of the offense, he stressed the need to prevent her from fleeing with the money if it were unexpectedly discovered.
Young, who has no prior criminal record, is scheduled to appear in court on August 9 and August 16 for her subsequent hearings. If convicted, she could face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
This audacious incident at the Four Winds Hartford Casino serves as a stark reminder of the importance of trust and integrity within the workplace. As law enforcement continues its investigation and strives to locate the missing money, casino authorities and employees are left grappling with the shock and impact of this brazen act.