New York Residents Accused of Stealing at Atlantic City Casinos
Five residents of New York City have been accused of trying to steal over $1 million from casinos located in Atlantic City.
Cheating at a casino is not too common, but it does happen from time to time. Sometimes, players try to use fancy tricks to win a hand of cards while others will try to use money making schemes in order to cheat the operator out of cash. The most recent incident of this happening occurred in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Five people from New York have been accused of trying to steal over $1 million from five casinos located in the gambling town. The individuals tried to use a fake check scheme to be able to take cash that was not rightfully theirs.
Fraudulent Check Scheme
Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck of New Jersey stated that five casinos in Atlantic City were attacked by the five individuals. Two women and three men used a complicated scheme to use fake checks to take money from the venues.
The Hard Rock, Borgata Casino, Caesars, Golden Nugget and Ocean Casino were all affected. The first three were hit with $284,000 in thefts while the other two saw a slightly smaller loss of $134,000 via bad checks.
Earlier this week, a grand jury in Atlantic City produced an 11-count indictment against the individuals. Those involved were subject to charges of second-degree theft and second-degree conspiracy among other charges. Sen Ge, Peng Cai, Shuai Liu, Xiuhuan Zhang, and Qingtao Zhang all face charges. Qingtao was not apprehended until September 7, and he was fond in Amsterdam.
The two women that were part of the scheme were the ones who would cash or try to cash the checks as part of the scheme. The men were involved as well and would help in certain stages of the scheme. Xiuhuan Zhang would use fake checks from TD Bank while Qingtao would use cashier’s checks from Bank of America, that were also fake.
The checks were used to buy gaming chips. One attempt at the Hard Rock was denied and the Golden Nugget only gave a portion of the check’s value in chips. The casinos were able to catch on to the schemes which helped to stop the assailants from moving forward with their plans at obtaining more cash.
AG Bruck stated that the case is just example of how agencies worked together to shut down the scheme. Members of the New Jersey State Police and Division of Criminal Justice worked together to investigate and prosecute the crimes, along with working internationally.
The second-degree charges the individuals face carry from five to 10 years of prison time. Fines up to $150,000 can be charged as well. The individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty and will stand trial for their actions.
The check-cashing scheme the individuals tried to push within the casinos is common. It is not something that happens on a daily basis, but the process has become more sophisticated which allows criminals to try their hand at cashing big or small checks at casinos for chips.
The players then play for a short period of time at low stakes and then cash in the chips for real money. Unless caught in the act, individuals such as those in this case can get away with taking thousands if not hundreds of thousands from a casino in a single visit.
The process of check-cashing has become more involved over time, as the criminal element has increased its efforts to make the process more believable. Thankfully, such schemes are usually caught and little damage done to the gaming venues.