Five Indicted for $1.1 Million Atlantic City Casino Bogus Check Scam

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Five Indicted for $1.1 Million Atlantic City Casino Bogus Check Scam

Posted on: October 17, 2021, 11:01h.

Last updated on: October 17, 2021, 11:01h.

Philip Conneller

Authorities in New Jersey have indicted five New York State residents for allegedly bilking Atlantic casinos out of more than $1.1 million using a “sophisticated” fraudulent check scheme.

Casino fraud
The Hard Rock Atlantic City, pictured, declined one check for $150,000 but the gang still allegedly got away with 134,000 from the casino. (Image: Hard Rock Atlantic City)

Xiuhuan Zhang, 65, Qingtao Zhang, 53, Sen Ge, 29, Shuai Liu, 30, and Peng Cai, 33 were charged Thursday with second-degree conspiracy and various counts of second-degree theft by deception, the state Attorney General’s Office said.

Over the space of three days in August, the two female members of the gang, Xiuhuan Zhang and Qingtao Zhang, allegedly presented forged checks at five casinos in the city. These were exchanged for casino chips before being cashed out. According to state prosecutors, the three men “assisted [the women] at various times” during the alleged fraud.

Amsterdam Arrest

Casinos targeted were Caesars, Borgata, Ocean, Hard Rock, and Golden Nugget. At each casino, Xiuhuan Zhang allegedly presented a fraudulent TD Bank Official check for $150,000 to obtain chips, and Qingtao Zhang allegedly presented a fraudulent Bank of America Cashier’s check for $134,000.

The gang was not always successful. The Hard Rock denied one check for $150,000, while Qingtao Zhang was told she could only receive chips in incremental amounts on her $134,000 check.

Xiuhuan Zhang was arrested by Dutch police in Amsterdam earlier this month at the request of New Jersey authorities. The others are still at large. The state Attorney General’s Office said it was currently investigating other individuals it believes may be linked to the crimes.

Suspects Face Ten Years

“The defendants were caught executing a sophisticated financial scheme spanning multiple casinos and over a million dollars in fraudulent checks,” said Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck in a statement.

This case is just one example of the excellent work — in this instance across international borders — performed by the members of the New Jersey State Police and Division of Criminal Justice who are assigned to investigate and prosecute crimes in the casinos,” he added.

New Jersey’s Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau obtained an Atlantic County grand jury indictment on October 13. If convicted, the suspects face five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000.

“The State Police Casino Gaming Bureau and the Division of Criminal Justice Casino Prosecutions Unit routinely work together to investigate and prosecute major cases involving financial fraud, money laundering, or other criminal conduct committed in the casinos in Atlantic City,” said Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice.

“Through their vigilance, expertise, and diligent work, we are holding those responsible for these crimes accountable,” she added.