Aria Manager Charged with $770K Casino Theft

September 19, 2023
Mark Patrickson

A former hotel operations manager at the Aria Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip has been charged with 15 counts of theft, computer crime, and money laundering after allegedly stealing more than $770,000 from the resort property.
Brandon Rashaad Johnson, 38, is accused of creating fraudulent hotel reservation refunds that were put on his credit card over a 12-month period from July 2022 to July 2023.

Lavish lifeystle

Johnson, who had been working for MGM Resorts International since 2013, reportedly used the stolen funds to live a lavish lifestyle, which included shopping at Louis Vuitton and Versace, flying on private jets, visiting spas, attending shows, and even purchasing a house.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was notified of the alleged theft on July 27, 2023, and immediately began an investigation. Johnson quit his job via SMS four days after the investigation started.

On August 31, 2023, the Las Vegas Defense Group, a law firm, contacted the Metro police to report that they were representing Johnson, who surrendered to the police on September 1.

According to the arrest report, Johnson allegedly issued 209 fraudulent refunds back to a single Chase debit card, with the money going into a checking account. Police say that he was allegedly moving money back and forth between several different Chase accounts to make the fraudulent funds harder to track and make the stolen money appear legitimate.

A co-worker of Johnson's noticed his sudden spending on luxury goods, vacations, and more, and decided to look into Johnson's work transactions.

The co-worker then notified Aria's senior manager of guest services, who instructed him to gather all the evidence and present it to the director of hotel operations.

The co-worker told police that his findings were reported to Aria's director of hotel operations, who then reported the matter to the police.

Johnson is due for a court hearing to demonstrate the source of money he would use to post $100,000 bail and be released with GPS monitoring ahead of a preliminary hearing of evidence or an indictment.

MGM Resorts International spokesperson Brian Ahern declined to comment on Johnson's case.

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