HANOVER TWP. — A Shavertown man found dead in Mill Creek in Plains Township on Saturday died from an accidental drowning.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross made the determination for the cause and manner of death after an autopsy on Matthew Crane, 28, at the Luzerne County Coroner’s Office in Hanover Township on Monday.
Mill Creek flows through casino property and continues through Miners Mills where Crane’s body was found near a railroad bridge near Mayock Street at about 5 p.m. Saturday. Crane was found about three-quarters of a mile from the casino.
It was not immediately known if Crane had been at work at the casino prior to his body being found.
Crane is listed in criminal complaint affidavits after a state police investigation in 2015 and 2016 into a scheme that defrauded the casino out of nearly $500,000 through illicit use of free slot play credits. Crane reported the allegations to authorities in August 2015.
The investigated resulted in the arrests of Robert Pellegrini, then vice-president of player development at the casino, casino cocktail waitress Rochelle Poszeluznyj, and casino patron Mark Heltzel.
Crane is stated in the affidavits as having a relationship with Poszeluznyj at the time.
Pellegrini, 52, Poszeluznyj, 40, and Heltzel, 54, were eventually indicted by a federal grand jury and each pleaded guilty in federal court.
Pellegrini was sentenced to 32-months in federal prison and is housed at the Schuylkill Federal Correctional Institution. Heltzel was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and is currently listed as being assigned to a Philadelphia-based a residential halfway house program.
Poszeluznyj was sentenced to six months of house arrest and two years probation.