A former general manager of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino was sentenced Friday to two years in federal prison for embezzling more than $50,000 from the Madera County gambling operation.
Jeff Livingston, 51, also was ordered to pay $52,400 in restitution to the casino and serve three years of probation after his release.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill, who handed down the sentence, ordered Livingston to start serving his term by Oct. 31.
"I did wrong," Livingston said to O'Neill. "I'm here in court because a jury of my peers found I did wrong."
Still, Livingston – a former Fresno resident who now lives in Las Vegas – asked for probation instead of prison. His attorney, federal defender Marc Days, said his client's actions were an "aberration" and not part of his overall character.
"The question is, is prison necessary for Mr. Livingston?" Days asked.
O'Neill left no question that the answer was "yes." He noted that Livingston currently is employed, but has not paid any restitution to Chukchansi. He also said Livingston has yet to admit wrongdoing.
Livingston – a former deputy sheriff in Broward County, Fla., who was named the casino's general manager in 2005 – was convicted by a federal jury in June on six counts of mail fraud and three counts of theft by an officer or employee of a gaming establishment on Indian land.
During a five-day trial, prosecutors Ian Garriques and Kirk Sherriff contended that Livingston used a corporate credit card to embezzle at least $48,500 from the casino between October 2006 and January 2008.
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