Some casinos are still getting scammed by some of the oldest tricks in the book. Five casinos in Atlantic City were reportedly target by a gang of crooks out of New York City, who managed to cash bogus checks at the properties in exchange for gambling chips. In total, the quintet of crooks managed to steal over $1 million in just three days without getting caught.
New York Crooks Go on Gambling Spree
According to a report from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office (NJAG), from August 26 to August 28, five people passed rubber checks at five different casinos in Atlantic City. The checks were worth a total of a little more than $1.1 million, and it would appear that the five venues didn’t do a good enough job verifying the amounts before approving the transactions.
Borgata, Caesars and Ocean each lost $284,000 during the brief, but expensive, crime spree. The Golden Nugget and the Hard Rock each lost $134,000. The accused reportedly presented two checks, drawn on accounts at TD Bank and Bank of America, at each of the first three casinos, one for $150,000 and the other for $134,000, which were never verified by the cashiers cage personnel. The Golden Nugget and the Hard Rock saved themselves some headache by limiting the amount that it was willing to accept.
Suspects on the Lam
With the prevalence of credit and debit cards, and now cashless gambling, how any casino can justify the need to accept checks, especially without some sort of confirmation of funds, is more than a little confusing. While swiping a debit card to purchase $150,000 in chips might be a little complicated, and prohibited by most banks, there are still ways for casinos to better protect themselves.
It isn’t likely that the casinos will see their money returned. They have provisions in place for situations like this to lessen the sting, but it’s still a loss. In this case, according to the NJAG, only one of the five suspects has been caught. Qingtao Zhang was picked up in Amsterdam earlier this month. Four others, Xiuhuan Zhang, Shuai Liu, Peng Cai and Sen G, are reportedly still in the wind. The NJAG made it a point to mention that they have only been accused of running the scam, and that they have not yet been charged. If enough evidence surfaces, they face an indictment of conspiracy, theft by deception and attempted theft by deception.