On the early morning of Monday, August thirteen, 2012, Scott Stevens loaded a brown searching bag into his Jeep Grand Cherokee, then went for the master bedroom, the place he hugged Stacy, his wife of 23 many years. “I really like you,” he instructed her.Stacy imagined that her spouse was off into a occupation job interview followed by an appointment with his therapist. Alternatively, he drove the 22 miles from their home in Steubenville, Ohio, for the Mountaineer Casino, just outdoors New Cumberland, West Virginia. He employed the casino ATM to examine his financial institution-account harmony: $13,400. He walked throughout the casino ground to his preferred slot machine inside the high-limit space: Triple Stars, A 3-reel recreation that Price tag $10 a spin. Maybe this time it will pay out sufficient to save him.
Stevens, fifty two, still left the On line casino and wrote a five-web site letter to Stacy. A former chief working officer at Louis Berkman Financial commitment, he gave her cautious economic Guidelines that would help her to prevent obligation for his losses and continue to keep her credit rating intact: She was to deposit the enclosed look for $four,000; shift her money into a new checking account; drop to pay for the money he owed the Bellagio On line casino in Las Vegas; disregard his credit-card personal debt (it absolutely was in his identify alone); file her tax returns; and Enroll in Social Security survivor Gains. He requested that she have him cremated.He wrote that he was “crying just like a baby” as he thought about apilorm exactly how much he liked her as well as their a few daughters. “Our relatives only has an opportunity if I’m not close to to carry us down any even more,” he wrote. “I’m so sorry which i’m Placing you thru this.”He placed the letter and also the sign in an envelope, drove on the Steubenville article Business, and mailed it. Then he headed on the Jefferson Kiwanis Youth Soccer Club. He experienced elevated cash for these eco-friendly fields, tended them with his garden mower, and watched his daughters Perform on them.
Stevens parked his Jeep within the gravel good deal and identified as Ricky Gurbst, a Cleveland legal professional whose organization, Squire Patton Boggs, represented Berkman, where by Stevens experienced labored for fourteen a long time—till six and also a fifty percent months earlier, once the firm learned that he had been stealing business cash to feed his gambling routine and fired him.Stevens experienced a request: “Remember to ask the corporate to carry on to pay my daughters’ faculty tuition.” He experienced gained notification the tuition profit the corporate experienced delivered might be discontinued for the autumn semester. Failing his daughters were the final blow.He took off his glasses, his glucose keep track of, and his insulin pump—Stevens was a diabetic—and tucked them neatly into his blue thermal lunch bag with the sandwich and apple he hadn’t touched.He unpacked his Browning semiautomatic 12-gauge shotgun, loaded it, and sat on among the list of railroad ties that rimmed the parking zone.Then he dialed 911 and explained to the dispatcher his plan.Scott stevens hadn’t usually been a gambler. A native of Rochester, Big apple, he gained a learn’s degree in business and finance on the University of Rochester and created A prosperous job. He received the rely on from the metal magnate Louis Berkman and worked his way up for the placement of COO in Berkman’s firm. He was meticulous about funds, equally skillfully and Individually. When he very first achieved Stacy, in 1988, he insisted that she pay back her credit score-card debt promptly. “Your credit rating is all you’ve got,” he advised her.
They married the following calendar year, had three daughters, and settled into a snug lifetime in Steubenville because of his placement with Berkman’s corporation: a six-determine income, a few cars, two country-club memberships, holidays to Mexico. Stevens doted on his ladies and threw himself into results in that benefited them. In addition to the soccer fields, he lifted income to renovate the center faculty, to develop a whole new science lab, also to support the French Club’s vacation to France. He put in time on weekends portray the superior-faculty cafeteria and stripping the hallway floors.Stevens received his initially flavor of casino gambling when attending a 2006 trade event in Las Vegas. On a subsequent vacation, he hit a jackpot on the slot device and was hooked.Scott and Stacy quickly began creating a number of excursions a year to Vegas. She favored purchasing, sitting down via the pool, even sometimes enjoying the slots together with her husband. They introduced the youngsters in the summertime and manufactured a household vacation of it by traveling to the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, and Disneyland. Back residence, Stevens became a regular for the Mountaineer On line casino. Around the subsequent 6 a long time, his gambling pastime grew to become an addiction. However he won occasional jackpots, a number of them six figures, he missing much more—around $4.eight million in only one 12 months
Did Scott Stevens die for the reason that he was struggling to rein in his very own addictive should gamble? Or was he the target of a procedure thoroughly calibrated to prey on his weak point?Stevens methodically hid his dependancy from his spouse. He dealt with each of the few’s finances. He retained separate bank accounts. He made use of his function address for his gambling correspondence: W-2Gs (the IRS form accustomed to report gambling winnings), wire transfers, On line casino mailings. Even his best friend and brother-in-legislation, Carl Nelson, who at times gambled together with Stevens, had no inkling of his trouble. “I had been stunned After i learned afterwards,” he states. “There was a complete Scott I didn’t know.”When Stevens ran out of money with the casino, he would leave, compose a company check on among the Berkman accounts for which he experienced Examine-cashing privileges, and return for the On line casino with more cash. He in some cases did this three or four situations in an individual day. His colleagues didn’t problem his absences from your Business, mainly because his job associated overseeing different corporations in numerous areas. By the point the organization detected irregularities and he admitted the extent of his embezzlement, Stevens—the likable, accountable, reliable business man—experienced stolen just about $4 million.