A Florida man has reportedly pleaded guilty to swindling $12,500 in booking money from The Mill Casino that overlooks Coos Bay in North Bend, Oregon.
U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams for the District of Oregon announced that 67-year-old Howard Harlib falsely claimed to represent the Village People music act and swindled the aforementioned amount from The Mill Casino, which is owned and operated by the Coquille Indian Tribe.
According to court documents, The Mill Casino was contacted by Harlib in August 2015. The offender claimed his company “Premier Entertainment” was in the process of booking dates for the Village People music act and that he contacted the tribal casino to inquire whether the venue might be interested. After a series of negotiations, the tribal casino signed an artistic engagement contract with the offender, and gave him a check for $12,500.
Harlib has a record of criminal charges and he has been in Florida state custody since the year of 2016 on unrelated charges.
Meanwhile the Village People said all of its shows are not being listed on its official website due to the corona virus pandemic, which halted many operations at The Mill Casino too. The tribal casino temporarily suspended its operations on March 18th to help control the deadly virus. The gaming and entertainment facility resumed operations two months later on May 18th.
Like any other commercial or tribal casino, the Mill Casino made several changes and put a long string of health safety measures to defend its team members and visitors. For instance, it has reconfigured its gaming floor to maintain social distancing and limited floor occupancy to a maximum of 300 visitors. The facility offers seven hundred slot machines and a few table games. In addition, it features sports betting kiosks that are being operated by IGT.
The Coquille Indian Tribe said in a statement, “The Mill Casino is more than a business … also a core facility for taking care of Tribal members and the entire North Bend-Coos Bay community.”
The Village People, which was used by Harlib to swindle money from the Mill Casino, is best known for its hits like “YMCA,” “Go West,” “Macho Man” and “In the Navy” items.
Harlib has been in Florida state custody since 2016 on unrelated charges. He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and was sentenced to time served in federal prison with three years of supervised release. In addition, he has been ordered to pay back the $12,500 to the tribal casino.