Las Vegas Sun

October 14, 2019

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Ex-ranch hand charged in Ted Binion treasure case

Richard Cleaves

Nye County Sheriff's Office

Richard Cleaves

A former ranch hand for a wealthy Las Vegas casino heir who died 20 years ago is facing criminal charges in what authorities say was a dig for buried treasure at a Nye County property.

Nye County District Attorney Chris Arabia says Richard Cleaves was arraigned Monday in Pahrump on burglary and property destruction charges.

The 56-year-old Cleaves remains free without bail pending another court date Aug. 29.

His attorney, Carl Joerger, didn't immediately respond to messages.

Cleaves is identified as a former manager at Ted Binion's ranch, where Nye County sheriff's investigators found holes dug after Cleaves and two unidentified men with shovels were seen on surveillance cameras March 30.

Binion was believed to have buried millions of dollars' worth of silver before he died in 1998 at age 55.

Binion's stripper girlfriend and her lover were eventually acquitted of murder in his death.