BY JUDY DeHAVEN
June 17, 2008
Three former Tropicana employees -- including a high-ranking executive
-- were indicted yesterday on charges they stole a list, valued at $108
million, of more than 20,000 of the casino's top players.
One of them, John Conklin, is now the vice president of relationship
marketing at Borgata -- the city's trendy casino. He made his mark at
the Tropicana by luring sports stars and celebrities, according to
people who knew him there.
The case provides a window into the high-power world of casino
marketing, where lists of top players can mean big money. Marketing
executives, whose job it is to schmooze high rollers, are typically
precluded from taking lists with them when they move onto other casino
jobs. Often they don't need to -- they keep their own records and
gamblers also know how to reach them.
In this case, authorities said the three downloaded the identities of
more than 20,300 patrons -- including addresses, phone numbers and
casino ratings -- onto three separate discs labeled "Bette Midler." The
Tropicana put the value of the information at more than $108 million.
"We charge that these marketers stole one of the most valuable assets of
the casino," Attorney General Anne Milgram said in a news release. "This
type of corporate espionage and theft involving proprietary information
is a very serious crime."
The others indicted were Justin Litterelle, who later went on to work
for Bellagio, one of the premier casinos in Las Vegas; and James
DiMarco, who was trying to find a new job after losing his at the
Tropicana. Each of the three charged face up to 10 years in prison and
$150,000 in fines if found guilty of the most serious charges.
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