Pair tries to scam casino freebie |

Pair tries to scam casino freebie

by Christy Chalmers

Efforts to trick a Lake Tahoe hotel-casino into providing a free vacation resulted in an extended stay for the perpetrators at the Douglas County jail.

The suspects, Thomas Kelly, 46, of Las Vegas, and Joseph Scott Dixon, 39, of Biloxi, Miss., each admitted Tuesday in District Court to conspiring to commit theft, a gross misdemeanor.

Court records indicate an associate of the men called Caesars Tahoe and impersonated a high-ranking company official, then ordered complimentary limousine service from Reno and a room for Dixon.

Caesars Tahoe personnel discovered the ruse when they called company officials to confirm the free services had been authorized after the men checked in June 24.

Casino security and Douglas County sheriff’s deputies arrested the pair a day later when they returned to the room. A woman who was traveling with them was not arrested after she apparently cooperated with the officers.

Neither man was especially forthcoming with details during their appearances before Judge Dave Gamble.

“A friend of a friend set it up for us,” said Kelly, who initially denied knowing that the room was obtained fraudulently. “I’m not sure exactly how it was done. There was a phone call made and somebody identified themselves as the president of Caesars, and I took a limo ride.”

Court records say Kelly, who goes by several other names, told deputies a friend in Las Vegas had arranged the accommodations, but couldn’t provide further details. The records also say seven arrest warrants for Dixon have been issued in Clark County, and all the warrants involve trespassing or defrauding innkeepers.

Court records set the value of the hotel room and limousine service at $507.

Gamble set an Aug. 24 sentencing date for both men, who have been in jail since the incident. They face a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $2,000 fine, but could also get probation.