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Lakewood Man Misses Sentencing After Pleading Guilty to Cheating Casino

Nidal Abuaun faced up to a year in jail after he recently pleaded guilty to “capping his bets” at the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland.

A 50-year-old Lakewood man facing a year in prison for cheating the Horseshoe Casino didn’t show up for his sentencing on Wednesday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

A warrant was issued for Nidal Abuaun’s arrest on Thursday.

He pleaded guilty last month to a charge of gambling, a fifth-degree felony, stemming from allegations that he “capped” his bets — meaning that he made a bet after the cards were dealt — at the Horseshoe Casino.

Nicole DiSanto, a spokeswoman for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office, said that the charge against Abuaun was a “probationable offense." 

“He didn’t show up for sentencing,” she said, adding that she heard from defense attorney’s that Abuaun had been hospitalized.

He faces one year in prison after he was caught “capping his bets” once he knew he won a hand of Texas Hold ‘Em at the Cleveland casino.

Abuaun and another Lakewood man were among seven indicted in June on charges of cheating the Horseshoe Casino earlier this year.

The trial for the other man, Philip Koch, 54, of Lakewood, is set to begin next week.

Five others — four men from Cleveland and one from Akron — were also indicted for cheating at the casino.

“Ohio now has statutes in place to address crimes committed in the new casinos,” said prosecutor Bill Mason in a statement. “My office will continue to prosecute these crimes as we would any other crime in our county.” 

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