Department of Gaming Employee Indicted for accepting Bribe / Second Defendant Indicted for Bribery, Computer Tampering, Fraud and Theft

(Phoenix, Ariz. – August 18, 2004)  Daniel A. Muller, a former financial investigator with the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG), and Joaquin Franco Perez, were indicted by the State Grand Jury on one count of Bribery of a Public Officer.  At the time of the incident, Muller was employed by the ADG.

Muller was a financial investigator assigned to review the gaming certification of the company R. Franco, USA, headed by Joaquin Franco Perez, and its Spanish Parent, Recreativos Franco, and then provide a recommendation on whether to certify R. Franco, USA to sell slot machines to be used in casinos within Arizona.

The indictment alleges that during the application review process, Muller accepted or agreed to accept a job with R. Franco, USA in return for a favorable recommendation on the company’s pending certification.

In a second indictment, Perez was also indicted on three counts of computer tampering, one count of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices and one count of Theft.

The second indictment alleges that Perez knowingly altered, damaged or destroyed more than 3900 computer files from three different computer systems belonging to Visix Gaming, LLC.  The indictment further alleges that Perez knowingly misrepresented to the Visix Gaming, LLC owners his intention to purchase or merge with their company, and this misrepresentation allowed Perez access to Visix Gaming materials, documents, assets or funds to which he was not entitled.

The last charge in the indictment alleges that Perez misappropriated funds from Visix Gaming,which were used to rent office space for the headquarters of what became R. Franco USA.

The indictments are the result of a year-long joint investigation with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the ADG.  Gaming officials from other states also assisted in the investigation.

If convicted, Muller faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail.  If convicted Perez faces a maximum of 15 years in jail.  Assistant Attorney General Todd Lawson is assigned to this case.  Attached is a copy of the indictments.