Cocaine and Free Gambling at Gulfstream Park

The biggest game at the racetrack was trading gambling money for drugs, investigators say.

The state hired a Las Vegas firm, BMM Compliance, which quickly determined Gulfstream's internal auditing functions had been turned off in July 2007, about the time the theft of the cards began. This shutting down made it impossible for investigators to determine which employees authorized the use of the cards to Janjua.

BMM said the casino should have prepared daily audit reports, but their absence went unnoticed and the fraud flourished. Investigators also determined there wasn't a clear separation of duties. The fact that thousands of dollars in credits were loaded onto test cards should have been discovered quickly. "All test transactions should be documented," an investigator wrote. "All tickets should be properly documented... This clearly was not done."

When BMM began requesting records from Gulfstream, it often didn't receive them. The firm ultimately complained to state regulators that the casino was so slow in providing documents, thus hindering the investigation.

Investigators weren't given access to Gulfstream officials either. Just three weeks into the investigation, Gulfstream attorney Marc Dunbar put the kibosh on communication between the state and track officials.

"Gulfstream continues to feel that they are on the same page with [state investigators] regarding the inquiry," Dunbar wrote in an October 22 letter to the state. "However, out of concern for the sensitive nature of the investigation and the need to ensure that confidentiality is maintained until its conclusion, it seems to make sense to create a communication funnel through counsel at this point."

Ah, nothing a criminal investigator enjoys more than a "communication funnel" through a lawyer while looking into a casino heist.

Dunbar refused to comment for this article, as did Gulfstream spokesman Mike Mullaney, who said he was under strict orders not to discuss the investigation. Dunbar's law firm did send New Times a written statement.

"Gulfstream Park was targeted by a ring of unscrupulous employees who engaged in activities," Dunbar wrote. "Gulfstream was the first to uncover the activity via its internal security processes and immediately reported the matter to state regulators... Gulfstream continues to cooperate fully with state officials and awaits the outcome of the investigation into the activities of these individuals."

Dunbar, according to sources, has a long and close relationship with Dave Roberts, who was chief of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering throughout the investigation. Roberts abruptly resigned his position with the state two weeks ago. The investigation is still open.

More to the story? We'll see.

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