WILKES-BARRE -- Two of three people accused in a $500,000 scheme to rip off Mohegan Sun Pocono Casino pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon.
Negotiations with the defendants and their attorneys have been ongoing since June.
Investigators called the scam an inside job because one of the men who pleaded guilty, Robert Pellegrini, was a casino employee.
The other man who pleaded guilty at the federal courthouse in Wilkes-Barre was Mark Heltzel of Dallas.
Investigators say the scheme went on for a year, starting in May of 2014. When gamblers used their casino cards to pay for drinks, beverage server Rochelle Poszeluznyj of Kingston would copy the card information and give it to Pellegrini. He then created duplicate cards, added free slot play to the cards, and gave those duplicates to Heltzel to gamble with.
The three allegedly walked off with a payout of almost $419,000.
In September, Poszeluznyj pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. She is set to be sentenced later this month.
State police say the scheme unraveled because of a love triangle.
Court papers show Poszeluznyj was seeing Heltzel at the same time she was having a romantic relationship with a casino employee. She told that worker about the scheme, and when the relationship ended, he went to police.
Heltzel and Pellegrini each face up to 20 years in federal prison. Sentencing has been set for April 12.