Crime

Former employee pleads guilty to stealing $200,000 from Whatcom casino

A former Silver Reef Casino employee has pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing $200,000 from the business in November 2018.

Shannon Marie Morris pleaded guilty June 12 to one count of theft by an employee of a gaming establishment on Indian lands in United States District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, according to federal court records.

Morris’ sentencing has been set for Sept. 20.

In a statement supporting her guilty plea, Morris said that on Nov. 24, 2018, she entered the Silver Reef Casino, walked into the cash collection area, stole $200,000 from the casino and left with the money, according to court records. Morris was an employee at the casino at the time, records show.

Morris is no longer employed at the casino, according to marketing director Eric Larsen.

In a story previously reported in The Bellingham Herald, Morris allegedly called 911 to report that she had been forced by a man with a gun to commit the theft. She also allegedly told law enforcement that the man had mentioned wanting to plant a bomb in the casino.

Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.
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