A woman arrested in Overland Park has been charged in federal court with stealing nearly $100,000 from a casino on a U.S. naval base in Japan.
Federal agents arrested Cynthia L. Creseni on Jan. 24 after pursuing her from Japan to the Philippines and then Kansas. According to court documents, Creseni had been a casino worker at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan and disappeared from the country after the money was reported missing in February 2015.
When federal authorities arrested Creseni this year, they first detained her for allegedly overstaying her visa. On Monday, she faced a federal charge of theft of public money, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri.
According to court documents, Creseni, a Filipino national, had worked at the naval base in various positions since 2000. In 2015, she was the lead cashier in the game and slot room at the base’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation center.
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Creseni allegedly reported the money missing from her assigned safe after returning from a vacation to the U.S. According to court documents, she denied taking the money and was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The money, a combination of dollars and yen, totaled $99,068.
Interviews with co-workers suggested Creseni might have had financial problems, according to prosecutors. When investigators went to Creseni’s home, they found she was gone and had sold the house.
Authorities tracked Creseni to the Philippines, where the trail ran cold. Federal agents later learned that Creseni had entered the U.S. in July 2015.
The Yokosuka base is the Navy’s largest in Asia. A similar theft at another base was reported in 2010, when $67,000 went missing from a club at Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan, according to the Stars and Stripes newspaper. Civilians at such facilities, unlike service members, do not fall under military legal jurisdiction.
Creseni is in federal custody and is scheduled for a detention hearing Thursday.