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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
February 1, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
-
Vaughn L. McKoy, Director

 

John R. Hagerty
609-984-1936

 
 
Division of Criminal Justice - Casino Prosecutions Bureau
Charges Casino Dealer with Concocting Mini-baccarat
Cheating Scam
 

Alleged Scam Resulted In $61,000 Loss To Borgata Casino

>> View the Indictment (229k pdf) free plug-in

ATLANTIC CITY - Attorney General Peter C. Harvey announced that the Division of Criminal Justice - Casino Prosecution Bureau has charged a former Borgata Casino Mini-Baccarat dealer with devising a “false shuffle” cheating scam that netted five players participating in the scheme more than $61,000 in illegal winnings.

Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy and Thomas Auriemma, Director, Division of Gaming Enforcement, noted that the Casino Prosecution Bureau, in conjunction with State Police detectives assigned to the Division of Gaming Enforcement, continue to target casino employee-devised schemes, fraud, and other illegal activities designed to steal money from casino employers and which impact the integrity of the casino industry.

“Both the Division of Criminal Justice and the Division of Gaming Enforcement are committed to aggressively pursuing casino-related crime by prosecuting anyone who would attempt to manipulate the system to illegally benefit from New Jersey’s casino industry,” Attorney General Harvey said. “This indictment represents the outcome of an extensive and complicated investigation. The charges are significant and the defendants will face stiff penalties.”

According to Criminal Justice Director McKoy, a State Grand Jury indictment charged the following individuals with various cheating-related charges:

  • Lu T. Tran, 44, 129 North Iowa Ave., Atlantic City, Atlantic County. Former casino games dealer employed at the Borgata Casino. Charged with two counts of swindling and cheating at casino games and criminal conspiracy;
  • Tuan M. Ho, 42, 126 North Morris Ave., Atlantic City, Atlantic County. Employed as a casino games dealer at the Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino. Charged with two counts of swindling and cheating at casino games and criminal conspiracy;
  • Tu Anh Ti Tran, 35, 126 North Morris Ave., Atlantic City, Atlantic County. Charged with two counts of swindling and cheating at casino games and criminal conspiracy;
  • Binh H. Pham, 29, 5203 Ventor Ave., Atlantic City, Atlantic County. Charged with swindling and cheating at casino games and criminal conspiracy;
  • Hung Luu, 38, 1224 Timothy Lane, Phoenixville, PA. Charged with swindling and cheating at casino games and criminal conspiracy;
  • Cuong Tu Ngo, 46, 1834 South 4th St., Phila., PA. Charged with swindling and cheating at casino games and criminal conspiracy.

If convicted on all charges, Tran, Ho and Ti Tran face up to 20 years in state prison and fines/penalties of up to $60,000. Pham, Luu and Ngo face up to 10 years in state prison and fines/penalties of up to $30,000. The defendants will be required to appear in Atlantic County Superior court for arraignment and bail. The State Grand Jury indictment was handed-up to Mercer County Superior Court Judge Neil H. Shuster on Jan. 31.

The indictment alleges that Tran, while employed as a casino games dealer at the Borgata Hotel and Casino, engaged with players at a Mini-Baccarat table to cheat at the game which resulted in the players obtaining more than $61,105 in illegal winnings. Specifically, the indictment charges that on Sept. 20-21 and Sept. 26, 2003, Borgata security personnel notified State Police detectives assigned to the Division of Gaming Enforcement of suspicious activity involving Tran and his dealing activities at a Mini-Baccarat table. The indictment alleges that Tran employed a “false shuffle” - a move whereby the entire quantity of cards in the eight-deck shoe are not properly reshuffled. As a result of the “false shuffle,” it is charged that on Sept. 20-21, Ho, Ti Tran, and Pham, won more than $35,000 in illegal winnings. It is charged that on Sept. 26, Ho, Ti Tran, Luu, and Ngo placed winning bets in excess of $15,000 as a result of a “false shuffle” conducted by Tran. Mini-Baccarat is a casino game in which cards are dealt from an eight-deck shoe to two spots on the gaming table - “player” and “banker.” Patrons bet on which spot will get a total closer to nine.

“The Division of Gaming Enforcement strictly regulates all casino- related activities and our oversight of casino employee behavior is quite extensive. Activity of the sort alleged in this indictment results not only in criminal prosecution, but the revocation of a valuable casino license which allows employees to work in any of the Atlantic City casinos,“ Director Auriemma said.

McKoy and Auriemma noted that ongoing investigations continue to target all forms of employee scams and schemes which might be in place at Atlantic City casinos. The investigation was conducted by New Jersey State Police detectives Rick Lindsay and Robert Colbridge assigned to the Division of Gaming Enforcement - Casino Intelligence Unit. Additional investigative support was received from the Borgata Hotel & Casino Surveillance and Investigations Department. Deputy Attorney General Brent Hopkins of the Division of Criminal Justice - Casino Prosecution Bureau presented the case to the State Grand Jury.

An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

>> View the Indictment (229k pdf) free plug-in

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