Posts Tagged ‘gambling crime’

Delaware Arrests Blackjack Cheating Ring

Friday, May 27th, 2011

There is a saying that “crime doesn’t pay.” It’s not true, of course, because a lot of people make a lot of money off of crime. Didn’t you ever see Scarface? Sure, he died at the end as a result of his excesses, but his crime paid really well up until that point.

In any case, maybe that saying should be amended to “crime may pay for a while, but at some point you will probably get caught, especially if you commit that crime in a casino.” Maybe that is a little too long to catch on. Hopefully you’ll remember the point of it, though. In casinos, everything is watched closely. There is a lot of money at stake, so the “eye in the sky” is ever watchful. Aside from CIA headquarters, I can’t think of anyplace with better surveillance than a casino. So if you have a cheating ring that is ripping those casinos off, it’s only a matter of time before you’re caught.

Earlier this week, Delaware State Police arrested three men they say are a blackjack cheating ring. According to authorities, the men worked together to mark and count cards during the blackjack games. Jiehui Huang, 49, Raymond Li, 57, and Huan Quan Yu, 59, were all arrested after a week-long investigation. The three men, who are each from San Francisco, were arrested at Delaware Park casino.

According to authorities, one of the men used a casino chip to mark cards with a value of ten. The other two men played at the table and took advantage of the marked cards. After casino security noticed them acting suspiciously, police were called and they were arrested before being able to cash out their winnings. The three individuals are charged with conspiracy, criminal mischief, attempted theft and altering a table game component. All of those charges are misdemeanors.

Pennsylvania bans negligent parents from casinos

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

In what has become a disturbing and ridiculous problem, the state of Pennsylvania has banned two more negligent parents from its state’s casinos. Fajiao Sun and Xin Li were both arrested on the same day, at different times, for leaving their children unattended while they played virtual blackjack at the Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Now the state has banned both of them from all casinos within the state.

Back on February 14, 2010, Sun was arrested for leaving his 10-year-old daughter at the entrance for the parking lot while he played virtual blackjack at the casino. Later that same day, in an unrelated incident, Li was arrested for leaving two sons, one five and one six years of age, at the parking lot entrance. Authorities say that in both cases, the children were abandoned for in excess of 45 minutes.

Earlier today, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has placed both of them on the involuntary casino exclusion list, which means that there are not legally allowed to set foot in any casino located in the state. Li and Sun now make a total of 10 adults who have been banned from the casinos, including two men who allegedly committed the same crime.

On December 17, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board banned Donald Waige and Paul Gargas. Waige was arrested in June 2010 for leaving his 15-month-old son in the car while he played casino games. Gargas was arrested in August for leaving his two sons, ages seven and 12, in the car while he played at the casino.

When people think about responsible gambling, they usually are referring to money management, but as these cases show, being responsible also means putting parenting before your enjoyment of casino games. Players in Pennsylvania will either have to be responsible on their own or be barred from the casinos by the state.

Philadelphia cop caught cheating at blackjack

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

When the U.S. state of Pennsylvania legalized blackjack and other table games, it brought a lot of excitement to the area casinos. Profits have increased, as has attendance, but so has cheating. Blackjack is a lot easier to cheat on than slot machines. Since the blackjack games opened in the Pennsylvania casinos, there have been several arrests and cases of players caught cheating. The most recent case is a little worse than that, though.

This time it involves one of Philadelphia’s Finest. John Gallagher, 56, was allegedly caught cheating at blackjack during a game at Parx Casino. According to law enforcement officials, Gallagher was seen using what they called a “card-counting device” during the blackjack game. No arrest was made and Gallagher has not yet been charged with a crime.

However, Gallagher abruptly retired on Tuesday after 32 years of service in the Philadelphia Police Department. According to Lieutenant Frank Vanore, the State Police are investigating Gallagher for “committing a crime outside of Philadelphia.” In addition, Internal Affairs has begun an investigation of the incident.

Gallagher joined the Philadelphia Police Department in 1978 and, according to sources, was well-liked by his colleagues. Still, it seems that he made a big mistake. One of the great things about blackjack is that players can actually gain an advantage over the house if they keep track of the cards. If you count cards using only your mind you are not breaking any law (though the casinos don’t like it). However, using any external device – which can range from a rubber band to a notebook to electronic devices – is illegal and can land you in jail and placed on a blacklist that bans you from that casino and others.

NY Judges Denies Tzvetkoff Bail

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Australian national Daniel Tzvetkoff made news 2 weeks ago when he was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with bank fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to operate and finance and illegal gambling business.

Yesterday, a New York judge denied Tzvetkoff bail, meaning that he will have to remain in jail until his trial, which is more than a year down the road. Last week, a Las Vegas judge ruled that he should be released on bail because a U.S. citizen in his case would have. The prosecution then appealed to the New York District Court, where he is facing charges of bank fraud and money laundering. There, Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Tzvetkoff is a flight risk, due to his foreign status and access to over $100 million dollars, and denied bail.

Tzvetkoff was co-founder of online payment processor IntaBill. He allegedly moved money from American online gamblers’ bank accounts to the accounts of offshore shell companies. He then moved the funds from the shell companies to online casinos. Tzvetkoff’s type of money laundering is called an Automated Clearing House system and he used it to funnel millions of dollars between the U.S. and the British Virgin Islands.

In 2009, online casinos stopped doing business with Tzvetkoff due to allegations that he had stolen $100 million from them. Two weeks ago, Tzvetkoff attended a conference in Las Vegas where many representatives from those online casinos were present. It is believed that one of those people alerted security, which then resulted in an FBI arrest.

If convicted of all of the carges, Tzvetkoff would face up to 24 years in prison. In addition, it is estimated that he could have to wait 18 to 24 months before his trial begins. He will be locked up in jail that whole time.