To the early morning of Monday, August thirteen, 2012, Scott Stevens loaded a brown hunting bag into his Jeep Grand Cherokee, then went into the grasp bedroom, exactly where he hugged Stacy, his wife of 23 a long time. “I like you,” he explained to her.Stacy believed that her partner was off to the work job interview accompanied by an appointment along with his therapist. As an alternative, he drove the 22 miles from their household in Steubenville, Ohio, to your Mountaineer Casino, just outside New Cumberland, West Virginia. He made use of the casino ATM to check his financial institution-account stability: $13,400. He walked throughout the casino flooring to his favored slot device during the high-limit region: Triple Stars, A 3-reel video game that Charge $ten a spin. Perhaps this time it would pay out out enough to save lots of him.
Scott stevens hadn’t generally been a gambler. A local of Rochester, Big apple, he attained a grasp’s diploma in small business and finance in the College of Rochester and constructed An effective career. He won the trust from the steel magnate Louis Berkman and worked his way up for the posture of COO in Berkman’s corporation. He was meticulous about finances, the two skillfully and personally. When he initial fulfilled Stacy, in 1988, he insisted that she pay back her credit history-card personal debt promptly. “Your credit rating is all you have,” he instructed her.They married the subsequent yr, experienced 3 daughters, and settled into a snug life in Steubenville thanks to his placement with Berkman’s corporation: a 6-determine wage, 3 vehicles, two region-club memberships, holidays to Mexico. Stevens doted on his girls and threw himself into brings about that benefited them. Together with the soccer fields, he elevated funds to renovate the center school, to create a new science lab, also to help the French Club’s excursion to France. He invested time on weekends portray the substantial-faculty cafeteria and stripping the hallway floors.
Stevens received his very first taste of On line casino gambling although attending a 2006 trade extravaganza in Las Vegas. Over a subsequent vacation, he hit a jackpot with a slot equipment and was hooked.Scott and Stacy soon began making several visits a calendar year to Vegas. She liked purchasing, sitting with the pool, even once in a while participating in the slots along with her partner. They brought the youngsters in the summer and built a family members trip of it by visiting the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, and Disneyland. Back again property, Stevens grew to become an everyday at the Mountaineer Casino. About the subsequent six many years, his gambling hobby became an habit. Though he gained occasional jackpots, some of them 6 figures, hdropped a great deal more—just as much as $4.8 million in a single year.
Did Scott Stevens die for the reason that he was struggling to rein in his very own addictive need to gamble? Or was he the sufferer of a procedure cautiously calibrated to prey on his weakness?
Stevens methodically hid his addiction from his spouse. He managed all of the couple’s finances. He kept separate lender accounts. He made use of his function tackle for his gambling correspondence: W-2Gs (the IRS sort utilized to report gambling winnings), wire transfers, casino mailings. Even his ally and brother-in-legislation, Carl Nelson, who often gambled along with Stevens, experienced no inkling of his issue. “I used to be shocked After i found out afterwards,” he claims. “There was a complete Scott I didn’t know.”
When Stevens ran out of cash at the casino, he would leave, generate a company Examine on on the list of Berkman accounts for which he experienced Examine-cashing privileges, and return to the casino with far more hard cash. He sometimes did this 3 or 4 periods in only one day. His colleagues didn’t dilemma his absences from the office, because his task included overseeing several corporations in various destinations. By the time the agency detected irregularities and he admitted the extent of his embezzlement, Stevens—the likable, responsible, trustworthy organization man—experienced stolen almost $four qq slot million.Stacy experienced no clue. In Vegas, Stevens had usually stored strategies to join her and the ladies for lunch. In your own home, he was usually in time for meal. Saturday mornings, when he told her he was headed into your Business office, she didn’t question him—she knew he experienced many responsibilities. So she was stunned when he called her with lousy information on January 30, 2012. She was around the stairs with a load of laundry once the cell phone rang.
Stevens never ever did arrive thoroughly clean together with her regarding how much he experienced stolen or about how frequently he had been gambling. Even right after he was fired, Stevens stored gambling as typically as five or six instances weekly. He gambled on his wedding ceremony anniversary and on his daughters’ birthdays. Stacy noticed that he was irritable more commonly than normal and that he occasionally snapped at the girls, but she figured that it had been the fallout of his unemployment. When he headed into the casino, he advised her he was going to see his therapist, that he was networking, that he had other appointments. When cash appeared from his occasional wins, he claimed that he had been performing some on the internet buying and selling. When they lived off $50,000 that Stacy experienced inside of a independent savings account, he drained their 401(k) of $a hundred and fifty,000, emptied $50,000 out of his wife’s and daughters’ ETrade accounts, maxed out his charge card, and missing all of the $one hundred ten,000 individual financial loan he’d taken out from PNC Bank.