Saturday, 13 July 2024

Arrests made in Sho-Ka-Wah Casino embezzlement case

HOPLAND, Calif. – State officials have arrested seven individuals and are seeking an eighth in connection with an alleged embezzlement from Hopland Sho-Ka-Wah Casino.


The arrests resulted from an investigation begun in November 2008 by the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Gambling Control, according to a Tuesday report.


Joan Elizabeth Pickron, 42, of Ukiah, and seven associates were suspected of embezzling more than $102,000 from the casino, the Bureau of Gambling Control reported.


State agents from the bureau worked closely with the Hopland Commissioned Police and Hopland Band of Pomo Indians' Tribal Gaming Agency during the investigation, which they say revealed that Pickron and her co-conspirators had allegedly overridden jackpot slot machines to cheat the casino.


On June 26, Pickron and her seven co-conspirators were sent notices to appear in Mendocino County Court for embezzling the funds, the agency reported.


A month later, on July 26 four suspects – whose names were not immediately available late Tuesday – turned themselves in as ordered. However, the Bureau of Gambling Control reported that Pickron and three of the other suspects failed to appear in court. Based on their failure to appear, felony arrest warrants were issued.


On Aug. 19, Bureau of Gambling Control agents, Hopland Commissioned Police and Ukiah Police detectives located and arrested Pickron, along with fellow Ukiah residents John Steven Glass Jr., 38, and Alex Ralph Martin, 47, and booked them for embezzlement and grand theft.


Bail for all three arrestees was set at $15,000, according to Mendocino County Jail records. Glass also was charged with violating probation.


One suspect is still outstanding, although officials did not release that person's name.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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