September 23, 2014
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A California ice cream mogul who was convicted of four felonies when he couldn't pay $384,000 in Las Vegas casino IOUs is challenging a Nevada state law that lets casinos turn to county prosecutors to collect unpaid gambling debts.
The Nevada Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week on a rare constitutional challenge of a 1995 law that treats so-called casino markers the same as fraudulent bad checks.
Most of the thousands of people prosecuted each year settle their case before trial. They can't appeal.
Harel Zahavi went to trial in 2010 and was convicted of four felonies.
He was spared prison time, but was banned from casinos and ordered to pay restitution.
Now, Zahavi seeks to overturn his conviction.
He argues he had no intent to defraud the casinos.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.