FBI Releases Details on $7m Casino Scam
The FBI released details on the casino scam carried out by the 19 members of the Tran Organization, who stole a sum of at least $7 million from 29 different brick-and-mortar casinos in the US and Canada.
Temptress - Van Thru Tran
The leading lady behind the organization, Van Thru Tran, pleaded guilty to the charges last month. She will be sentenced on April 11th in San Diego, facing a punishment of up to 20 years in prison.
The now 45-year-old California resident played a vital part in the operations of the Tran Organization. She was responsible for seducing and bribing male casino dealers at the targeted land-based casinos.
FBI reports reveal the trick is as simple as effective. The (bribed) dealer does a false shuffle to create a group of cards that stick together, known as a “slug”. The slug hits the felt, and if you as a gambler know the sequence, profit is guaranteed.
One person of the Tran Organization knew the sequence of the slug and gave signals to the other members at the table for when to bet. These would be subtle hand-gestures, almost like you see in baseball.
Microphones and Transmitters
Over the course of time the cheating operations became more advanced, as microphones and transmitters were used to give signals about the sequence of cards from an outside location, decreasing the risk of detection.
In 2002, at the Pai Gow tables of the San Diego Casino, the Tran Organization made this scam work for the first time. By 2007 they had done the same trick for five years, and scammed 29 casinos out of $7 million.