Las Vegas hotel manager allegedly stole almost $800k with refund scam

Brandon Rashaad Johnson, a 38-year-old former hotel operations manager at the Aria Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, has been arrested on multiple charges including theft and money laundering. Johnson is accused of embezzling over $773,000 from the hotel between July 2022 and July 2023. His arrest came on September 1, following an investigation sparked by a coworker’s suspicions.

Johnson’s lifestyle changes raised eyebrows among his colleagues, leading one observant coworker to delve into Johnson’s work transactions. Upon discovering a series of unusual transactions, the coworker promptly alerted his manager. Johnson now faces 15 felony charges, with allegations that he funneled more than $773,000 in hotel refunds into a personal account.

Records from the Clark County Detention Center and a police report obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal reveal that Johnson allegedly issued 209 fraudulent refunds to a single Chase debit card, with the money being transferred into a checking account. Police also allege that Johnson was moving money between several different Chase accounts, a common tactic used by criminals to make fraudulent funds harder to track and to give the stolen money a veneer of legitimacy.

Johnson is alleged to have used the stolen funds to finance a lavish lifestyle, including expensive dinners, private jet flights, and shopping sprees at luxury stores such as Louis Vuitton and Versace. He is scheduled for a court hearing on Monday, September 11, where he is expected to post a $100,000 bail and be released with GPS monitoring ahead of his preliminary hearing or indictment.