Wednesday, September 29, 2010

UK Chip-Counterfeiter Gets 18 Months in Prison!...Before Passing off the First Fake Chip!

A twenty-year-old UK resident identified as Augustin Dago was sentenced to 18 months in the British brig after being convicted of defrauding casinos by counterfeiting their chips.

Dago contacted various casino-chip manufacturers in the UK saying that he wanted £25-denomination chips for his own personal card games. He sent photos of the specific London Gala casinos' chips that he wanted. Back in 2009 he had used a phony driver's license to become a member of two Gala casinos in London and also opened bank accounts with the false identification, apparently thinking there would be lots of ill-gotten booty to deposit.

Dago's plan went awry when one of the chip-manufacturing companies recognized the Gala Casino chip design he had requested on his order and notified the police. The London Clubs and Vice Squad arrested Dago and searched his apartment, finding photos of the chips, lists of the chip-manufacturing companies he'd contacted and copies of his orders. Confronted with the evidence, Dago quickly admitted his plan to cash in the phony chips at the Gala casinos and deposit his funds into the bank account opened under the phony names, in effort to launder the money back to a legitimate account in his real name.

London Detective Inspector Ann Marie Waller said, "This was a calculated attempt to commit fraud against one of the major gaming groups in the UK. Due to the quick thinking of both the chip-manufacturer and Gala Coral Group Limited, Augustin Dago was stopped from circulating counterfeit casino cash chips."

My take: What I don't get is why Dago confessed. As far as I can tell, he was accosted by the cops before trying to pass off the counterfeit chips in the casinos, so no crime had as yet been committed. As well, I don't understand why the London coppers didn't wait and let Dago make his cash-out moves inside the casino. Well, I guess the coppers got lucky this time.