A poker dealer in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) pleaded guilty to charges of stealing his employer's money and was sentenced to one year in prison during a plea hearing on the island of Rota, it has been revealed. According to local newspaper The Saipan Tribune, poker dealer Ricky Salibad Luis, 33, stole $1,098 from his employer, Puerto Rico-based Joker's Wild Poker, in 2005 in order to play poker.
Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth Govendo sentenced Luis to one year in prison on charges of theft of property. Luis was placed on one year probation and was ordered to perform 24 hours of community service. The defendant was also charged $125 in probation and court assessment fees. Judge Govendo ruled that if Luis fulfils the conditions of his sentence in their entirety his conviction will be lifted and he will be excused from serving time in jail.
Luis was employed by Joker's Wild Poker in Puerto Rico in 2005. From March 25 to May 21 of that year, Luis admitted to stealing close to $1,100 from the gaming establishment together with a co-worker. Police were called to investigate the case after management discovered poker funds were missing from the venue.
Editor's Note: CNMI is located in the South Pacific Ocean about three-quarters the way from Hawaii to the Philippines. An island territory, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is joined in a political union with the United States and retains an independent government and constitution. The territory consists of 14 different islands, of which Saipan, Rota, and Tinian are the largest. As of July, 2005, its population was counted at 80,362.