Bankrupt Las Vegas businessman must still repay casino markers
27 July 2012
A Las Vegas businessman who declared personal bankruptcy must still repay the worthless markers he wrote at two casinos, the Nevada Supreme Court has ruled.
The court refused to set aside the bum check convictions of Martin R. Brown, who wrote $20,000 in worthless markers at Wynn Las Vegas and a $25,000 bogus marker at the Bellagio.
Because of a downturn in his business, Brown, who was described as a lover of gambling, filed for personal bankruptcy. He then wrote the worthless checks on his M&I Bank account, which was closed.
The casinos filed criminal charges against him. Brown was convicted after trials of passing the bad checks. He was placed on five years' probation and ordered in each case to make a $21,625 payment to each casino.
He was also ordered to stay out of casinos for the purpose of gambling. Brown was directed to perform 16 hours a month of community service unless he was a full-time worker or student.
Brown appealed, arguing the state's bad-check law was unconstitutional because it violates his federal right to declare bankruptcy. He maintained the state could not prosecute him after his debts had been discharged in bankruptcy.
The Supreme Court said the federal law does not prevent a state from beginning or continuing a criminal action after an individual has filed a petition for bankruptcy.
The court said Brown failed to show that criminal prosecutions violated the federal Supremacy Clause.
The court also rejected Brown's argument that the criminal prosecution in the two cases was improper debt collection and the casinos were barred by the bankruptcy discharge of the debt.
The two decisions upheld the rulings of District Judge David Barker.
In a third case, the Supreme Court rejected the petition of New York-New York for a pre-trial summary judgment in connection with a shooting in July 2007 in which four people were injured.
The resort was sued by Carrie Zeravica on grounds it was negligent in permitting the shooting by Stephen Zegream, who said at the time he was despondent,
The court said the New York-New York failed to show "extraordinary relief is warranted" at this time in the suit.
Join the Discussion:
- Joe Downtown: Tony Hsieh leads Ashton Kutcher on downtown tour
- Men arrested in death of teen during iPad robbery held without bail
- Donald Trump wins court battle with an 87-year-old grandmother
- Las Vegas gas prices likely headed up, if Nevada passes fuel-tax bill
- Police: Purse missing from home where 75-year-old woman found dead
- Surging home values in Las Vegas expected to keep their momentum
- Lake Las Vegas, long viewed as a bust, is rebounding
- What the Firefly outbreak means for the restaurant's future and the alleged victims' pocketbooks
- Cowabummer: The planned Memorial Day opening of Henderson's Cowabunga Bay Water Park is delayed
- Report: Las Vegas among top spots to ‘flip’ homes
Will online gaming hurt brick-and-mortar casinos?