Seattle mayor’s son pleads guilty to conspiring to cheat casino

Seattle, Washington (AP) 9-07

The Seattle mayor’s son pleaded guilty Aug. 29, to a federal charge of conspiring to steal from a casino and faces a maximum of five years in prison.

Jacob Dyson Nickels, the 26-year-old son of Mayor Greg Nickels, agreed in his plea deal to join with other defendants to pay more than $90,000 in restitution to the Nooksack River Casino. Jacob Nickels was a pit boss at the Nooksack tribal casino in the summer of 2005 when he accepted $5,000 to introduce one of the cheating ring’s alleged conspirators to two dealers, prosecutors said.

He faces a maximum five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release when he is sentenced in U.S. District Court on Dec. 14.

“This has been a difficult time for our family,” Greg Nickels said in a statement released by his office. “Jake today is taking an important step in accepting responsibility for his actions.

The mayor added, “Although this brings us closer to resolution, it’s not over. We love him and will stand by him throughout.”

In late July, one of Nickels’ co-defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring in the scheme, admitting that he performed “false shuffles” that enabled two alleged coconspirators to cheat at mini-baccarat in October 2005.

In May, federal prosecutors unsealed indictments charging 24 defendants in Seattle and San Diego with a racketeering scheme dating from March 2002. The indictments named 18 casinos believed to have been targeted by members of the conspiracy, including 10 owned and operated by Indian tribes.