Man who spurred Nevada Gov Jim Gibbons probe facing casino debt

By KEN RITTER Associated Press Writer

Updated:Â 07/23/2009 02:12:18 PM PDT

LAS VEGAS—A software designer who alleged Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons took bribes from a Reno-based defense contractor is accused of failing to repay $1 million in casino debts to a Las Vegas Strip casino.
A lawyer for Dennis Montgomery, 56, said Thursday that Montgomery intends to fight criminal charges that he failed to repay Caesars Palace for checks written Sept. 27. The nine checks were written for amounts that ranged from $10,000 to $250,000, and they totaled $1 million.

“Mr. Montgomery maintains his innocence,” attorney David Chesnoff said.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Thursday that Montgomery, of Rancho Mirage, Calif., was arrested July 16 in California’s Riverside County, and was later released after posting bail.

Court records in Las Vegas show Montgomery was sought on a June 22 warrant issued on felony charges of obtaining money under false pretenses and theft.

It was not immediately clear if Montgomery repaid any of the casino debt before or after charges were filed.

Bernie Zadrowski, chief of the Clark County district attorney’s office bad check unit, did not immediately respond Thursday to messages seeking comment.

In Nevada, unpaid casino markers, or loans to gamblers, are treated as bad checks and can be turned over to the district attorney for criminal prosecution.

Montgomery alleged in 2006 that Gibbons, while serving as a congressman from Nevada, improperly received money, a Caribbean cruise and other bribes from Montgomery’s former business partner, eTreppid Technologies owner Warren Trepp.
Gibbons became the target of a federal investigation, but was cleared of wrongdoing last November, according to Gibbons’ lawyer, Abbe Lowell.

The allegations emerged after Montgomery left the company and he and Trepp sued each other over ownership of computer source code and hard drives.

That lawsuit was settled in September 2008 under terms that were not disclosed.