Indiana Couple Implicated in Joliet Casino Cheating Ring Jailed

Two of the five alleged casino cheats who took the Joliet Harrah's for as much as $500,000 were arrested.

Rande Thorpe. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Department
Rande Thorpe. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Department
An Indiana couple charged with ripping off the Joliet Harrah's for as much as $500,000 was jailed while their three alleged accomplices from Las Vegas remains at large.

Rande Thorpe, 57, of La Porte, IN, and his wife, Virgninia Thorpe, 58, of Corpus Christi, TX, were booked into the Will County jail Thursday morning.

Rande Thorpe, the former superintendent of La Porte schools, and Virginia Thorpe were both charged with burglary, the unlawful structuring of a currency transaction, computer fraud, cheating at a gambling game and computer tampering.

Virginia Thorpe was also hit with a fugitive warrant out of Mississippi.

The Thorpes are allegedly part of a band of gambling cheats charged with manipulating Harrah's video keno machines.

The alleged racket came to light during an April traffic stop in Arizona, according to court papers.

The police pulled over Randy D. Binning, 48, of Las Vegas, the court filing said.

Binning was found to be transporting more than $400,000 he claimed to have "won on keno machines that were malfunctioning at Harrah's casinos in Joliet, Illinois, and Tunica, Mississippi," the filing said.

But the cops in Arizona weren't buying Binning's story.

"Further investigation revealed that (Binning) was a member of a group of people who were manipulating keno machines to have them pay five times the winnings," the filing said. "Such manipulation of keno machines constituted theft."

The police confiscated Binning's money.

Charged along with the Thorpes and Binning are two more Vegas residents—Paul Jovenich 42 and Bulgarian chess master Svetoslav Dorobanov, 38.

Dorobanov has called the charges against him "phony" and "preposterous." He also said Harrah's is simply "very bitter for losing money to" him.

The Thorpes are being held on $50,000 bond each.

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eljersterus March 21, 2014 at 11:58 AM
It's just kinda nice to see someone beat the casinos at their own game by rigging them. They're paying for it now though.
Todd March 21, 2014 at 10:08 PM
This is very simple. It's a CASINO! You play poker, slots, games there knowing that you could lose! If you don't want to lose money, DONT GO and then bitch about it! If anyone wants to waste and throw money away, come to my house and give it to me.
Jose Ramirez March 22, 2014 at 12:12 AM
I can also take some money. Right Todd?
Courtney Tanton March 23, 2014 at 03:52 AM
1. Harrahs Joliet doesn't have Keno... 2. @ other comments, the casino taxes help the city of Joliet, but unfortunately, the city pre budgets that money. When the Empress burned down the city was hurting because they were counting on that revenue.


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