|Jackson Township, N.J. - On Wednesday, April 30, 2014, the New Jersey State Police charged a Jackson, N.J., woman with Theft by Deception, when she attempted to fool authorities by claiming that someone had stolen her identity, used it to create an online gaming account, and racked up gambling and banking fees totaling almost $10,000.
In January, the New Jersey State Police, working cooperatively with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, began investigating a complaint from Diana Zolla, 31, of Jackson Township, alleging that someone had used her maiden name to create an online gaming account. Zolla maintained that her identity was stolen, and that the large online gambling debt of $9,565 did not belong to her.
By reviewing banking, online gaming, and internet service provider records, detectives from the New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau and the Financial Crimes Investigations Unit determined that Zolla was responsible for creating the fraudulent account.
She was arrested and charged with Theft by Deception, a 3rd degree crime. She was released pending a mandatory appearance at Atlantic County Superior Court.
Internet gaming became legal in New Jersey in November 2013. There have been 291,625 accounts opened since its inception. According to the Division of Gaming Enforcement, new accounts in March are up 17% from February.
“People who gamble online may be tempted to fabricate an identity theft complaint in order to avoid paying their debt,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “This criminal activity can only make a bad situation worse. The New Jersey State Police and the Division of Gaming Enforcement will continue to work cooperatively to aggressively enforce state laws that govern online gaming.”
“The Division of Gaming Enforcement and the State Police are committed to working together to deter fraudulent activity and instill confidence in internet gaming operations for all involved, including players, platform providers, and payment processors,” said David Rebuck, Director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement. “Suspicious transactions are thoroughly investigated, and as this case shows, attempts to defraud New Jersey casinos will not be tolerated.”
Charges are mere accusations and the suspect is considered innocent until proven guilty.