ST. PAUL, Minn. — A six-month-long investigation by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (AGED) has led to the prosecution and conviction of a Bloomington woman for stealing charitable gambling proceeds from the Richfield American Legion.
On April 10, Joy Aliya Delong, 60, of Bloomington, pled guilty to seven counts of Theft-by Swindle. As the bookkeeper for the charitable gambling accounts for the Richfield American Legion, Delong was in charge of bank accounts and payroll.
Over a five year period (2009 – 2013), an AGED agent discovered Delong stole nearly $200,000. The 50-year-old used the Legion’s gambling and lottery accounts to pay off personal credit cards, cell phone bills, a personal life-insurance policy, and other expenses.
Delong, a part-time employee who worked 10 hours a week for the Legion, overpaid herself tens of thousands of dollars. In 2012 alone, Delong paid herself wages of more than $53,000 for about $9,000 of work she did for the Legion.
“The Richfield American Legion trusted this employee to properly manage their charitable gambling proceeds,” said Michele Tuchner, AGED director. “When an employee responsible for tracking gambling and lottery accounts abuses their position and steals from their company, they will be held responsible.”
Delong faces up to 27 months in prison and is expected to be sentenced June 25, in Hennepin County.
About the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division
AGED monitors alcohol from the manufacturers to the public, issues both alcohol and gambling licenses, defines and approves regulatory practices. It provides technical and field assistance to businesses and local units of government. It conducts background investigations and criminal investigations relating to lawful gambling, the Minnesota Lottery, lottery and sweepstakes fraud scams, pari-mutuel horse racetracks and card rooms, and tribal reservation gambling.
The division conducts criminal investigations on lottery and sweepstakes scams where it is estimated that Minnesota citizens lose approximately 30 million dollars yearly. Additionally, the division enforces laws pertaining to illegal gambling such as sports bookmaking and other illegal gambling activities. It initiates enforcement actions, resolves and mediates complaints on liquor and gambling violations. It conducts formal hearings on violators, and provides forums for discussion and resolution of liquor and gambling issues.
In 2014, AGED Activities Included:
- Gambling agents conducted 152 criminal investigations
- 90 Tribal State compact compliance inspections.
- 12 Corporate background and licensing investigations for AGED, GCB and MRC.
- 1,402 investigations regarding alcohol complaints.
- 843 pre-license alcohol inspections.