A 23-year-old case involving the alleged theft of more than $1.6 million from St. Croix Casino ended Thursday, July 1, in Barron County Circuit Court.
In November 1998, Edward M. Gerrety, 59, of Coon Rapids, Minn., was found guilty on three counts of theft by false representation in connection with the case.
A criminal complaint filed in September 1998 alleged that during the years 1994-97, Gerrety and codefendant Lon E. Bergstrom, 73, formerly of Turtle Lake, were jointly responsible for bilking the casino out of more than $1.6 million in meat and seafood shipments that were never delivered.
Court records showed that at the time of the July 1 hearing, Gerrety had paid just over $21,000 in restitution, even though more than $1 million in restitution was owed.
After reviewing case records, Circuit Court Judge J. Michael Bitney said Gerrety had “made a good faith effort toward restitution” and denied the state’s request to extend probation. The unpaid balance was converted to a civil judgment.
In November 1998, Gerrety was sentenced to 10 years in prison in connection with his role in the scheme, while Bergstrom, the alleged mastermind and former food and beverage director at the casino, was sentenced to 15 years.
Restitution was to be “joint and several” in both sentences, court records said.
According to the Chicago Tribune, then-District Attorney James Babler (now a Barron County Circuit Court judge) said that the investigation showed more than $200,000 of allegedly stolen money was spent on tickets to sporting events and concerts, and on trips to Las Vegas and the Caribbean.