They took the leads?

And the phones? What kind of office is this? Ah, it’s OK. Shelly Levine just closed a big deal.

None of that will make anything approaching sense if you’ve never seen Glengary Glen Ross, but trust me, it does.

All of this is my lead-in to what is surely the casino caper of the decade: three former employees are accusing of stealing a player list from the Trop AC. From the LVRJ:

Three casino workers were indicted Monday on charges they stole a list of more than 20,000 top players from the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City.

New Jersey prosecutors said the list was worth more than $108 million because it included the names, addresses, phone numbers and gambling data on important casino patrons.

“We charge that these marketers stole one of the most valuable assets of the casino, namely detailed contact information and ratings for its top-level players,” Attorney General Anne Milgram said in a statement. “This type of corporate espionage and theft involving proprietary information is a very serious crime.”

The three had all worked for the Tropicana three years ago and later left for other casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas.

Prosecutors charged that while at Tropicana, Conklin had Litterelle download a list of top-level player names from the Tropicana computer database for “future leverage” so they could take patrons with them when they went to other casinos. The list was placed on three discs Litterelle labeled “Bette Midler,” officials said.

In March 2007, Conklin was at the Borgata when he called Litterelle, who was a national marketing manager at the Bellagio, and asked Litterelle to send DiMarco the player list because DiMarco had lost his job at the Tropicana, officials said.

Litterelle e-mailed the list to Conklin and arranged with DiMarco to send him a paper copy. Litterelle tried to send the paper copy from the Bellagio mailroom, but an employee notified Bellagio security department, officials said.

Bellagio notified the Tropicana and the Borgata, and all three casinos cooperated with New Jersey’s investigation, authorities said.

Casino workers accused of stealing player list

Let’s put aside for a second the notion–as humorous as it is–that the Tropicana’s leads are worth $108 million. I never knew that it had a reputation for high-end play.

Definite points for style for labeling the disks with the purloined leads “Bette Midler.” Was that because they figured no one would want to listen to three generic Bette Midler CDs? Or was it some kind of back-handed tribute to the stage legend? We can only hope this comes out in the trial.

What elevates this from a simple case of theft is the monumental stupidity involved. So you steal three disks worth of player info from your employer, but instead of keeping it, you let your assistant take it with her to Las Vegas. Of course, you wouldn’t want to waste five minutes by burning a back-up copy. Then, you try to send a paper copy of the list to your buddy. You don’t print it out yourself, at home or at Kinkos. No, you print it out at work–which just happens to be a major Las Vegas casino–then try to send it out through the mailroom.

Of course, no one will find this suspicious at all–and naturally, casino management would be happy about someone mailing out a long list of player information, because they are committed to open source casino marketing.

But strangely enough, someone notices, tells management, and the police get involved. And you find yourself facing a variety of charges for stealing leads from the Tropicana Atlantic City, of all places.

Where’s Jerry Graff when you need him?

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