Michael Tardiff Sr., 50, had been a $9-per-hour mutuel employee at an OTB sports bar in rural Maine. Bosses became suspicious when he claimed new vehicles, property and other showy expenditures were being paid for by a “trust fund.”
Favorites OTB Parlor figured that the employee had allegedly embezzled $696,000 over a three-year span. Mr. Tardiff has not been criminally charged, but has instead been civilly sued by Favorites in a quest to get the money back. Tardiff, through his attorney, has denied the charges, but he has been terminated from Favorites.
This alleged mutuels theft is believed to be the largest “inside job” since the notorious 2002 Breeder’s Cup scandal, in which an Autotote computer programmer rigged Pick Six tickets to steal $3 million.
Apparently, Tardiff worked alone and often waited for the business to close in the evening by using a former employee’s login password. He then printed off a betting voucher receipt in increments of a few thousand dollars at a time without paying cash into the system.After that, he placed bets with the vouchers or cashed them in.