Thursday, February 3, 2011

Judge's Son Arrested for $1.5 Million Casino Heist

What Happens in Vegas, Doesn't Always Stay in Vegas:  The Las Vegas Journal reports that an arrest has been made in the December $1.5 million dollar heist of the Bellagio Casino.  The early morning December 14th robbery occurred at 3:50 AM.  The accused is 29 year old Anthony Michael Carleo.

Personally, I thought the heist was disappointing.  There was no switching of security tapes or dressing up as guards.  No robbers were dressed as Ninjas or Elvis impersonators. No one cabled down from a helicopter.  Apparently, this heist did not require hours of planning from a rag tag crew of snarky criminals.

Leaving his motorcycle running at the front entrance, Anthony allegedly walked into the Casino wearing a white helmet and leather jacket.  He simply walked up to a craps table and pulled a gun.  He was given approximately $1.5 million dollars worth of casino chips, some in denominations as high as $25,000.  He was arrested after trying to sell the chips to undercover officers.  At the time of the arrest, Carleo was a guest of the hotel.  They believe he was also responsible for a similar robbery at the Suncoast Casino. Public records and newspaper accounts indicate that in 2009, Carleo declared bankruptcy in Colorado where he had been a real estate broker, mobile DJ and ran a limo company. 

So what's that have to do with a legal blog.  Carleo is the son of Law Vegas Municipal Judge George Assad. Assad's own background included working as a Black Jack and craps dealer to make money for law school.  He is up for reelection in April.  I would imagine this heist might make things more difficult for him.  According to the Las Vegas Journal, Assad's record on the bench is not stellar to begin with.  In 2008, the Nevada Supreme Court made him apologize to a woman he locked up for two hours in traffic court.  He was also told to attend a class on judicial ethics. When the Las Vegas Journal prepared a "judging the judges" survey, Assad received several less than adequate responses from readers including statements that he was a "ruthless dictator."  

Of course, can you blame Judge Assad for the actions of his grown kid?  Growing up, I had a few friends who were the sons of judges and police officers.  They were always on the wrong side of the law and constantly embarrassing their parents.  They grew up to be respectable members of society.  My parents can't say the same.  Their kid grew up to be a lawyer.  

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