Tag Archives: District Attorney Richard A. Brown

Racino employees charged with forging cards


| mchan@queenscourier.com

A stint of luck has run dry for two Racino employees, busted for forging fraudulent casino player cards, officials said.

Moises Jones, 29, and Rolanda Roberts, 33, have been charged with allegedly generating and distributing between 70 and 200 fraudulent casino player cards over the last seven weeks at Resorts World Casino, said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. Each card, Brown said, represents $100 in casino credit.

In statements made to casino authorities, Jones allegedly said he had been making fraudulent player cards for about a month — netting approximately $2,000 in profit — while Roberts, he said — working in concert — handed the cards to casino clients.

“Employee theft is a major concern for the gaming industry and my office,” Brown said. “In this case, the defendants took a gamble and lost — big time. They now face having felony criminal records and the real possibility of incarceration.”

Stefan Friedman, spokesperson for Resorts World, said the Racino is “working cooperatively with the authorities on this matter,” but he declined to comment further “due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.”

Jones and Roberts, respectively from the Bronx and Brooklyn, were arraigned on February 21 and were each charged with one count of fourth-degree grand larceny, 24 counts of second-degree forgery, 24 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, 24 counts of first-degree falsifying business records and 24 counts of fifth degree criminal possession of stolen property.

If convicted, they each face up to seven years in prison.

Jones was held on $5,000 bail while Roberts was released on her own recognizance, the district attorney said. They were both ordered to return to court on March 9.

Two casino players from Brooklyn also drew snake eyes, the district attorney said, and were arrested for unlawfully using at least seven of the cards.

Sonny Vlado, 40, and Richard Ulado, 45, were each charged with one count of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, one count of petit larceny and one count of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, officials said.

Vlado and Ulado face up to seven years in prison if convicted. They are slated to return to court on March 12.

Queens teacher had ‘pattern of inappropriate conduct’


| smosco@queenscourier.com

A teacher who had “shown a pattern of inappropriate conduct,” but was allowed to teach anyway, has been charged with sexually abusing two young boys on multiple occasions at P.S. 174 in Rego Park.

Wilbert Cortez, a 49-year-old computer teacher at William Sydney Mount School, was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual misconduct against a child and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.

“These are serious accusations in which a school teacher – who should serve as a role model to students – is instead accused of using his position to gain access to children for his own gratification,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “Schools should be safe havens where students are protected from harm. These are disturbing allegations that, if true, require punishment.”

According to the criminal charges, between September 2010 and June 2011 Cortez allegedly rubbed the groin and buttocks over the pants of two young students. He pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse and endangering charges in Queens Criminal Court on February 16 and was released after posting a $50,000 bail bond.

Perhaps most disturbing is that a city investigation in 2000 found that Cortez had shown “a pattern of inappropriate conduct” at a school in Brooklyn. The report concluded that the teacher slapped two students on the buttocks on several occasion. A letter of discipline was placed in Cortez’s file – however, six months later he was transferred to P.S. 174.

In response to the incident, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott visited the school on February 17 to meet with officials and assure parents that he plans to make it easier for principals to get disciplinary records of anyone vying for a position at city schools.

“I am appalled by the allegations against Wilbert Cortez,” said Walcott. “No adult who inappropriately touches a student, in or out of school, belongs anywhere near the children we are responsible for protecting. I will do everything in my power to ensure that individuals like Mr. Cortez can be swiftly removed from our classrooms as soon as allegations surface – and be barred from teaching in our schools if those charges are substantiated.”

A spokesperson for the United Federation of Teachers said “we do not comment on current investigations.”