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Barred from casinos, alleged scammers closer to trial

21 September 2009

Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The case against three alleged casino scammers is one step closer to going to trial.

William Cushing, Michael McNeive and Susan Lewanda are accused of possessing a cheating device, conspiracy to cheat at gambling and use of a cheating device in a slot machine. The trio allegedly used the scam at several Las Vegas casinos, including Boulder Station and Fiesta Rancho, in 2006.

At a hearing this morning, District Court Judge Douglas Herndon said a trial date will be scheduled after the next status check and evidentiary hearing, which is set for Sept. 29.

Police reports indicate surveillance videos show Cushing and Lewanda would stand watch at slot machines while McNeive inserted $1 bills and forged them as $100 bills using the cheating device.

Cushing and McNeive are in Nevada's List of Excluded Persons, otherwise known as the Black Book, and are barred from the state's casinos.

According to Gaming Control Board records, Cushing, 57, was first arrested in 1984 and has been arrested numerous times for gaming crimes in Nevada and other states. McNeive, 68, was first arrested by the Nevada Gaming Control Board in 1996 and has been arrested for gaming-related crimes, including cheating slot machines, numerous times.

The Black Book was created in 1960 to battle organized crime in Nevada casinos. People can only be removed from the list if they die or if the commission determines that they shouldn't have been listed. People on the list who enter a casino or any casino that knowingly allows an excluded person to enter face gross misdemeanor charges.

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