Brandon Rashaad Johnson, a former Las Vegas strip resort hotel manager, was arrested on September 1, 2023. Police have charged the 38-year-old Las Vegas resident with theft, computer crime and money laundering. He is accused of stealing more than $773,000 from the hotel between July 2022 and July 2023.
Johnson is a former hotel manager at the Aria Hotel & Casino, a luxurious 4,000-room property under MGM Resorts International. The resort is located next to The Crystals, an upscale shopping mall in the City Center of Las Vegas.
Brian Ahern, a spokesperson for the company, declined to provide any comments on Johnson’s case on Friday. On the same day, Johnson’s defense attorneys, Michael Becker and Seth Strickland, did not respond to text messages, telephone calls, or emails.
The suspicions against Johnson first arose when he quit his job after a vigilant co-worker noticed a significant shift in his lifestyle. In an interview with the police, the co-worker revealed that Johnson claimed to work as a private chef for affluent clients.
However, the co-worker had never witnessed Johnson engage in any cooking activities, nor had Johnson ever disclosed his occupation as a chef. Upon further investigation into the accused hotel manager’s work transactions, the colleague identified several unusual transactions and promptly reported them to the manager.
Clark County Detention Center records, in conjunction with a police report obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, unveiled Johnson’s alleged scheme. According to these documents, he orchestrated 209 fraudulent refunds. He funneled these ill-gotten funds into a single Chase debit card and then meticulously channeled the money into a checking account.
In Johnson’s arrest report, reviewed by the Review-Journal, a police investigator said that criminals frequently transfer funds between accounts. This practice aims to increase the difficulty of tracing fraudulent funds and lend an appearance of legitimacy to stolen money.
The 38-year-old reportedly used the embezzled funds for lavish dining experiences chartering private jets. He also used the money to indulge in extravagant shopping sprees at renowned establishments like Louis Vuitton and Versace.
Johnson’s upcoming court appearance is scheduled for Monday, September 11, where he is expected to seek release on a $100,000 bail. If granted bail, he will be subject to GPS monitoring in anticipation of his preliminary hearing or indictment.
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