Canada, Crime, Gambling, Law Schools, Money

Cooley Student Is A ‘Cooler’ — Loses $29K In Casino

A hand that this kid apparently never got in over two hours at the casino.

If you’re a law student and looking to get fired from your clerking gig, at least find a fun way to go out. The sort of exit that really looks at those bridges and says, “Flame on!”

Pleading guilty to embezzling from the city, then lying about your assets and hitting a foreign casino with $60,000 in cash?

Sure, that’ll work.

Guess where the kid in question goes to school?

Ten points to Gryffindor if you guessed, “Thomas M. Cooley Law School.”

The whole affair involving Cooley Law Review Senior Associate Editor Wisam David Mikho began a few months back:

In March, Mikho, 26, of Sterling Heights, was accused of accepting $300 from a woman with a pending case. When she went to a cashier’s window, she was surprised when told to make a payment to the court and pointed out she already had provided $300 to Mikho, officials said.

However, in-person payments to the court for fines and fees are only handled directly by the court’s clerical staff, so a court official questioned Mikho and contacted Warren police. The woman told police she gave money to Mikho, officials said.

At the time, Mikho was a law student while working in Warren’s legal department earning $12 an hour. Video from a courthouse security camera showed the woman handing something to him, officials said.

It’s unclear how Mikho thought this would play out. If the woman hadn’t dutifully gone to the cashier’s window, the city would eventually wonder where their money had gone and reach out to the woman (likely with handcuffs), then learn about the payoff Mikho took anyway.

Mikho appeared in court the same day [May 16] and pleaded guilty. Judge Jennifer Faunce sentenced him to one year probation, $800 in fines and court costs, 200 hours of community service and afforded him 90 days to pay $300 restitution to the city.

This seems fair. It’s presumably his first offense, after all. Mikho could just pay his fines and walk away. Chalk up the whole thing to a youthful indiscretion.

But that would make for a boring story.

A week after the judge placed him on probation and ordered him to reimburse taxpayers, Mikho went to Caesars Windsor. Court records show he arrived at the casino with a 23-year-old man from Sterling Heights man at 4:13 a.m. May 23. Mikho wanted to exchange $60,000 – all in $100 bills – for Canadian cash. He was allowed to exchange $29,200 — and lost it all while playing blackjack, police reported.

He left the casino at 6:24 a.m.

Mikho’s visit was brought to the attention of the Ontario Provincial Police, who relayed details to Warren police.

“I do not know the source of the funds that Mikho had with him but due to your recent investigation, it would seem suspicious that he would have this amount of money on his person,” Detective Constable Jan Shean, of the OPP’s Windsor Casino Enforcement Unit, said in an email to Warren police.

So the casino was kind enough to leave Mikho with over $30,000 in hundreds to make it hurricane at some Windsor strip club.

Caesar’s Windsor accepts high stakes bets up to $50,000 so they can cash in on all those high rollers from Detroit where the median annual income is around $25,000.

This probably contributed to Mikho’s undoing, because the Windsor police are probably skeptical of anyone coming over from Detroit flashing 60 grand. Since Mikho pleaded poverty in asking for an extension on paying his fines, when Michigan authorities learned of Mikho’s Canadian adventure, the judge amended Mikho’s sentence:

In a probation review hearing on June 18, Faunce ordered Mikho to attend Gamblers Anonymous daily for 90 days and twice per week afterward, to stay out of gambling establishment, undergo counseling for gambling, and to report monthly to his probation office in-person for a year.

I’d have sentenced him to attend a blackjack training course. People who know how to properly gamble don’t go to Cooley.

Fired Warren law clerk ordered to Gamblers Anonymous [Macomb Daily]

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