Former manager at Fortune Bay Casino who embezzled $300K receives 8-month sentence

A St. Louis County woman has been sentenced to eight months in prison for embezzling more than $300,000 in tribal funds, the Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

According to court documents, in 2008, Jennifer Lynn Boutto, 33, began working at Fortune Bay Resort Casino, which is owned by the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. She was later promoted to front desk supervisor in 2013. That position allowed her to issue cash refunds without direct supervision.

From January 2013 to October 2019, she issued false cash refunds against the invoices of previous Fortune Bay customers and would then go into the vault and take an amount matching the falsely stated refund, court records show. Over the course of those six years, she executed the scheme nearly 3,000 times and stole $315,739.

Boutto pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement and theft of tribal funds in March. She was sentenced Monday to eight months in prison followed by a year of supervised release. She was also ordered to repay the full amount stolen from the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa.

“Ms. Boutto took advantage of the managerial position she had been trusted with and selfishly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa,” Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk said. “This brazen theft of Tribal funds deeply impacted the Tribe’s ability to provide services to its own members. Today’s sentence signals the seriousness of Ms. Boutto’s crimes.”