Putting The Profit Into Crime

For anyone who truly admires outside the box thinking, you’re about to become a big fan of Las Vegas casinos. It’s well known that casinos, unlike other businesses, take crime within their very flashy walls serious, so much so that they maintain quite elaborate security forces and their own private jails, where people can theoretically be held until the gendarmes come to fetch them.

If this seems troubling, it beats the old system, gently referred to as the broken knee approach.  But as anyone who has ever put chip to felt should know, the rule of casinos is that the odds favor the house.  With a captive audience, it would just be wasteful to pass up an opportunity like this.  Enter United States Justice Associates.

From KTNV Contact 13 in Vegas

The video begins with ominous music and grainy jail images… inmates in CCDC uniforms and handcuffs shuffling out a courtroom door to return to their cells.

“At the end of this video, you will be required to make a decision that could affect you for the rest of your life,” the male narrator says in a serious tone.

“Hello, I’m speaking to you on behalf of United States Justice Associates. You have been detained by this establishment because of your involvement in a crime,” the narrator says.

The video spells out a program where people detained by casinos can beat the rap merely by signing a confession and paying $500.  No prosecution, no trial, no record.  The $500 fines are split between the casino and USDA, and, according to report, the “reward” to casinos may be as much as $730,000 per year.

The program is the brainchild of Stephen Brox, who, much to his misfortune, didn’t find the same program available to him when he was arrested earlier in the week on sexual assault charges.  The Las Vegas Metro Police are now looking into this program, investigating coerced confessions and extortion.  Oddly, Brox wasn’t talking.  But his attorney was.

“This program was designed, it is my understanding, to avoid arrests, avoid clogging up our already over-clogged justice system and to address relatively minor offenders with appropriate counseling,” [Brox’s attorney, Robert] Draskovich says.

“It appears that a flat fee was chosen, which is not illegal, and it appears the casino did receive a part of the fee. The person deciding to go into the program had the ultimate choice whether he or she wanted to participate in the program,” says Draskovich.

And the video they watch while contemplating that decision in a casino holding cell tells them, “It’s important to make payment arrangements immediately. Otherwise your case and admission of guilt will be forwarded for prosecution, resulting in a conviction and jail time.”

Not only does it provide a new revenue stream for the casinos, but it keeps the court dockets lower. A win-win, if ever there was one.  But some might wonder, given that these are casinos and accordingly subject to some scrutiny because of an alleged unsavory past, what would make them think that this scheme was a great idea.  No problem.

When the program was pitched to a group of casino security chiefs it came with a letter obtained exclusively by Contact 13. It’s signed by then-Chief Justice Court Judge Douglas Smith, who’s writing it on behalf of United States Justice Associates. It carries his personal recommendation of their program, “wholeheartedly, and without reservation.”

Judge Smith has been questioned by police and did not return our calls for comment.

We’ve also learned the program was pitched by Sheriff-turned Station Casinos security boss Bill Young.
Shockingly, Chief Judge Smith received a $500 donation to his election campaign from USJA.  No, it’s not shocking that they made the donation, but that Smith sold out for a mere $500.  He could have done a whole lot better. 

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

H/T Packratt

One comment on “Putting The Profit Into Crime

  1. Thomas R. Griffith

    Sir, thanks for another reason to never visit Las Vegas, Navada and Harris County, Texas.

    The Mob utilizes Nolo Contendere / No Contest taking the attorney / lawyer out of the loop. For that matter, it takes out every single middle man.

    Threats of a criminal record via prerecorded messages go away with a bribery, backed by nolo contendere and no hospital.

    (IS TO)

    Guilty or Not, pay my fee, plea bargain, do the time, get on with your life, and be glad you didn’t get more.

    Reads like pages ripped from the book “The Griffith Files – 1984 & Beyond”. A Harris County night mare. Except for the middel man part that is. Thanks again.

Comments are closed.