A man who was part of a criminal card cheating conspiracy, admitted that his ring of conspirators made up to one million dollars in casino cheating scheme. Tai Khiem Tran, 47, pleaded guilty in San Diego to charges of conspiring to participate in the racketeering enterprise called the “Tran Organization, according to a press release on the Federal Bureaus of Investigation (FBI) website.
The Tran Organization was allegedly part of a scheme to cheat gambling casinos in the United States and in Canada. The guilty plea by Tran was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita M. Glavin for the Criminal Division and United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt of the Southern District of California.
Charges against Tran and 13 other people included conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, to steal property and money from Indian tribal casinos, money laundering, and offenses against the United States.
The Tran Organization, formed in about 2002, was based in San Diego, California for the purpose of cheating gambling casinos across the U.S.
Tran entered a plea agreement and admitted to participating in gambling charges along with alleged members of the organization
The Tran organization was indicted for a cheating scheme called “false shuffle” during casino mini-baccarat and blackjack games. Allegedly the members of the organization bribed the casino card dealers and casino
supervisors to participate in the scheme. In a false shuffle the dealer appears to shuffle the cards, when they are not shuffled at all, so the order of the cards would be known to card counters. Conspiracy members were able to win thousands of dollars in the course of card games. On one occasion the winnings were $868,000.
The indictment alleges that the organization members used sophisticated mechanisms to tracking the card order during games. The mechanisms included hidden transmitters and special software capable of predicting the order cards would appear in during blackjack and mini-baccarat games.
Most of the casinos that Tran admitted to operating in were in California. The California casinos included Agua Caliente in Palm Springs, Barona Valley Ranch Resort in Lakeside, Cache Creek Resort in Brooks, Pachanga Resort in Temecula, Sycuan in El Cajon and Spa Resort in Palm Springs. In Canada they operated at Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario.
An indictment is allegation, not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial. It is be the government’s burden to prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
FBI: Co-Founder of Casino-Cheating Criminal Enterprise Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy Targeting Casinos in the United States and Canada, Press Release, February 13 2009.
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