"Artist. Magician. Creator. Illusionist."
That's how Shaun Benward describes himself on social media pages.
Police have a descriptive for Benward of their own: Thief.
Benward — who was placed on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's exclusion list in 2015 — has been accused of using the art of distraction with help from accomplice Denile Derohan to defraud a casino in Pennsylvania, according to multiple media outlets citing an affidavit filed by the state police.
Benward, 35, had Derohan, 42, distract the dealers while playing roulette at Pittsburgh's River Casino, outlets report citing the Pennsylvania state police's affidavit of probable cause.
While the wheel was spinning, Derohan would signal to Benward who would distract the dealer so they would not see where the ball landed, outlets report citing a criminal complaint. Then Benward would give the dealer his bet ensuring he was betting on the winning number, the complaint states.
The pair attempted this five times— succeeding three times in 24 hours on Feb. 18 — for a total winnings of $10,500, the complaint says.
Benward was placed on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's exclusion list for similar allegations at multiple casinos throughout the state in 2015, according to a copy of the list obtained by Action News.
Benward has been charged with a felony for Theft by Deception, Criminal Conspiracy, four misdemeanors for a Fraudulent Scheme, and four summer charges for Driving With a Suspended License, according to court records.
His court records were not immediately available when Daily Voice inquired on Wednesday afternoon.
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