WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Convicted child rapist Richard Gardner was arrested Thursday on felony fraud charges, according to Rhode Island State Police.
Richard Gardner, 56, of Lincoln, has been charged with five counts of accessing a computer for fraudulent purposes, obtaining money under false pretenses over $1,500 and receiving stolen goods.
Detectives began investigating Gardner back in February after receiving a report of fraudulent access to a Bally’s Casino Rewards account.
R.I. Assistant Attorney General Eric Batista explained in court that the woman who owns the account discovered the fraudulent activity when she went to redeem a promotional gift she’d earned at Bally’s Twin River Casino.
The woman never received the gift, however, because it had already been claimed on her account, according to Batista.
An extensive investigation led detectives to Gardner, who was seen on surveillance cashing in the woman’s promotional reward of $175 in free play.
Batista said the woman did not know Gardner, nor gave him permission to cash in her reward.
The investigation also revealed that in total, Gardner cashed in $2,375 of free play promotions that he didn’t earn.
Batista said when Gardner was taken into custody Thursday morning, detectives found 12 additional promotional gift cards issued for other Bally’s account holders.
Gardner has been closely monitored by probation officers ever since he was released from prison in 2018. He was convicted of sexually assaulting children in Warwick and Massachusetts in the late 1980s.
After being released, Gardner moved to Providence, where his presence sparked a number of protests outside his home. He then briefly relocated to Cranston before ultimately settling in Lincoln a month later.
Gardner was held without bail and is due back in court on May 23.
12 News reached out to Gardner’s attorney regarding the new charges but has not yet received a response.