Gun Lake Casino Michigan Employee Sentenced to Jail, To Repay Stolen $84,564



  • Jordan Lewis Cook, a former employee at the Gun Lake Casino in Allegan County has been given a four-month imprisonment sentence.
  • Cook had previously pleaded guilty to stealing over $84,000 from a clogged cash-out machine back in September 2023.
  • The defendant is also required to repay the entire $84,564 stolen from the casino as part of the Michigan’s judge ruling.

The last few months of 2023 brought an unkind wave of news involving cash cage scams and security threats at Michigan casinos. From ransomware hack leading loss of confidential information at BetMGM Casino MI to over $700K lost due to a fake cash cage call at Four Winds, the state has had its fair share of problems.

However, while the Four Winds employee has walked free after being acquitted of cash cage embezzlement charges, a Gun Lake worker is expected to spend time behind bars for the same offense.

In September 2023, Jordan Lewis Cook, 26, pleaded guilty to stealing $84,564 from a cash machine at Gun Lake Casino. A US District Judge Jane Beckering, sitting in a Grand Rapids courthouse has now sentenced the defendant to prison.

Cook Ordered to Spend Additional Two Years on Supervised Release

In her ruling on Wednesday, Jan. 3, federal judge Beckering sentenced Cook to four months in prison and ordered that he must restitute the $84,564 stolen to the casino. The defendant will also be placed on two years’ supervised release once he completes his jail sentence.

Cook is obliged to self-surrender to prison upon the direction of the Federal Bureau of Prisons or the U.S. Marshals Service.

Prosecutors stressed Cook’s guilt, emphasizing that he misused a sensitive position of trust.   

“The defendant was in a position of trust,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Lane wrote in a sentencing memorandum

Cook was employed at Michigan’s Gun Lake Casino to clear clogged currency notes put in cash machines by customers, among other duties.

Casino players often inserted wrinkled bills into cash-out kiosks, causing the machines to jam and in need of clearing out.

This sentencing comes months after Cook signed a plea agreement that was accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Ray Kent. The defendant had also earlier pleaded guilty to stealing from an organization owned by an Indian tribe, a felony which carries a five-year imprisonment sentence or $250,000 in fines.

Defendant Took Cash 32 Times and Purchased a 2014 Chevrolet

According to court records, Cook stole cash 32 different times between September 2021 and November 2022. Over this 14-month period, he stole unequal amounts ranging from $272 to $9,040 at each time.

Casino authorities discovered the theft during an internal audit where surveillance video revealed Cook swiping cash from his duty post.

Investigators told reporters that the defendant put all the money he stole in a Lake Michigan Credit Union bank account bearing his name. He then bought a 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe truck, paying $19,618.80 in cash and another $4,000 in trade-in credit.

“Mr. Cook’s behavior was very out of character for him, and he maintains that it will never happen again,” Cook’s attorney, Jessica LaFond, said in a court document that was released to reporters.

LaFond further stated that the defendant is on course to becoming a better person after the incident.

“Mr. Cook enjoys significant support from both of his parents and his girlfriend,” the attorney wrote. “Mr. Cook has goals in his life to continue bettering himself and to, of course, never put himself in a situation like he has here ever again.”

Cook has no previous conviction, grew up on a farm and had regular employment up until his dismissal from the casino’s employment, his lawyer told the court.

Attorney Michigan Expresses Commitment to Prosecuting Tribal Crimes

For the prosecution, however, this case is a testament to the work of law enforcement and state judicial officers in curbing crimes against tribal territories. 

“This case reflects my office’s strong commitment to working in partnership with Tribal leadership and law enforcement to prosecute crimes that occur on tribal lands, including theft from tribal businesses,” Mark A. Totten, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan said in a statement. “Together, we will hold criminals accountable for their wrongdoing.”

Totten also believes this sentencing will be a deterrent to other potential felons in the state.

Away from the case, Gun Lake Casino has been in the press for some positive news in the previous month. The tribal group sent a donation worth over $95,000 to the Walpole Island Tribal Nation in Ontario ahead of Christmas celebrations.

Gun Lake Casino Michigan is one of Michigan’s most popular iGaming brands and is operated by Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments