Inside the Latest Wave of Ingenious Casino Scams

March 25, 2024
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Clinton Jacob Machoka

Recent weeks have witnessed some fascinating incidents where suspected scammers have gotten away with substantial amounts of money from casinos:

Fraudulent Phone Call

Federal authorities in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are pressing charges against Jesus Gaytan-Garcia for allegedly stealing over $700,000 from the Four Winds Casino, which the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians runs.
The prosecution claims that in July of last year, Gaytan-Garcia contacted the casino under the guise of the tribal chairperson, who desperately needed immediate cash.

Supposedly buying the story, a supervisor carried $700,000 to a gas station in Gary, Indiana, where he handed two men the funds.
U.S. Attorney Mark Totten emphasized the significant sum involved in the theft, noting a concerning trend of telephone scams targeting tribal and commercial casinos nationwide.

He praised the collaborative efforts of Pokagon Tribal police and the FBI, highlighting their successful identification and apprehension of one of the individuals involved in the scheme.

Baccarat Cheating Scheme Rakes in $300K

A different fraudulent scheme amounting to six figures recently was at the Wind Creek Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The police have accused Qingyong Zhang, a baccarat player, of "thumping" the edges of the cards and recording them on his phone.

Purportedly, Zhang assembled a team of five accomplices to place successful bets on the game with the assistance of the marked cards. The primary suspect and a partner escaped with the money, while four others were taken into custody.

A suspect notified law enforcement of the execution of a similar plan at numerous casinos, whereby Zhang provided compensation of $5,000 to each participant. Currently, they are facing charges of felony corruption of an organization.

Guilty Plea in $500K Casino Theft Case

Last week, a man who was implicated in one of the biggest casino thefts in Colorado in years entered a guilty plea. The $500,000 heist happened at Black Hawk's Monarch Casino on March 12 last year.

According to the police, Juan Ivan Gutierrez Zambrano, aged 32, received compensation for safeguarding stolen cash from Sabrina Eddy, a former casino employee aged 45.

Zambrano has admitted guilt for committing felony criminal mischief and faces the possibility of being deported to Mexico.


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