Five New York residents are accused of having stolen more than $1.1m from casinos through a fake-cheque scheme. The suspects allegedly deposited phony bank cheques for gaming chips at five casinos between 26 and 28 August, stated the Attorney General’s Office.
The Golden Nugget and Hard Rock casinos lost $134,000 apiece while Caesars, the Borgata and Ocean Casino Resort, honoured $284,000 in cheques each, losing a combined total of $852,000.
When announcing the charges in the case, Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck mentioned: “The defendants were caught executing a sophisticated financial scheme spanning multiple casinos and over a million dollars in fraudulent checks.”
Information from the case said the suspects presented each casino with two fake cheques, one for $150,000 and another for $134,000 that seemed to be from TD Bank and Bank of America.
Hard Rock Casino denied the $150,000 check, thus reducing its losses and Golden Nugget reduced its exposure by telling a suspect she could only receive incremental amounts on a $134,000 cheque.
One of the suspects, 53-year-old Qingtao Zhang, was detained at the beginning of October in Amsterdam, while investigators are still looking for Xiuhuan Zhang, 65; Shuai Liu, 30; Peng Cai, 33; and Sen Ge, 29 (warrants have been issued for each of the four). According to the prosecutor, additional individuals are under investigation.
The five are accused of conspiracy, theft by deception and attempted theft by deception; however, the charges are only allegations and no one has been convicted in the case.
The New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau and the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau is investigating the case.