Mar. 10—An Orr woman admitted Tuesday to stealing more than $300,000 while working at Fortune Bay Resort Casino in Tower.
Jennifer Lynn Boutto, 32, pleaded guilty to a charge of embezzlement and theft of tribal funds at a hearing in U.S. District Court.
According to court documents, Boutto began working at as a reservationist in 2008 and later received a promotion to front desk supervision — a position that allowed her to issue cash refunds without direct supervision.
"Between January 2013 and October 2019, Boutto used her position at Fortune Bay to steal money by issuing false cash refunds against the invoices of previous Fortune Bay customers," the U.S. Attorney's Office reported. "Boutto would then access the Fortune Bay vault and retrieve the falsely refunded amount."
Prosecutors said Boutto executed the scheme 2,994 times, stealing a total of $315,739.87.
Court documents are sparse in detail and do not reveal how the thefts first came to light. The investigation was led by the FBI, with "significant assistance from the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa," which operates the casino.
Boutto was formally charged in December with the filing of an information — a document typically used when a defendant intends to plead guilty — and she waived her right to have an indictment considered by a grand jury.
Boutto entered the guilty plea at a virtual hearing before U.S. District Judge Eric Tostrud, her first appearance on the charge.
Tostrud allowed Boutto to remain free on several conditions, including that she report to a probation agent, participate in a presentence investigation report, avoid contact with casino personnel, refrain from employment with fiduciary responsibilities and participate in mental health treatment.
The charge carries a maximum of five years in prison. A sentencing date was not immediately scheduled.
A Fortune Bay spokesman said officials would not have any comment prior to sentencing.