Monday, October 04, 2010

Caesars Casino in Indiana, Now Called the Horseshoe, May Have Been the Tran Organization's Biggest Victim in International Baccarat Scam

We have all heard about the infamous Tran Organization mini-baccarat scam, which by using casino dealers to false-shuffle decks of baccarat cards bilked dozens of US and Canadian casinos out of anywhere from $5 million to $30 million, depending on which report we're to believe. The lastest data on the huge baccarat swindle says the former Caesars Palace casino in Harrison County, Indiana was the biggest victim to the highly-organized baccarat cheats--to the tune of nearly $1.5 million. The losses occurred during 2004.

Charmaine Stokes was the key dealer hired to fix the cards by John Tran, one of the numerous Vietnamese with that same last name (hence the Tran Organization). After giving up the entire operation to Indiana authorites and then to the FBI, Stokes pleaded guilty to the felony charge of violating Indiana's gambling laws. In addition she lost her job and has been barred permanently from all Indiana's casinos.

This part of the Tran scam that came apart in Indiana did so because of pure greed. The organization kept operating day after day and didn't know when to stop. Had they not milked the cow so many times, not only would they have gotten away clean with the scam in Indiana, they may have been able to operate for years more if not indefinitely in the rest of North America. This is because the cheat-heat they generated in Indiana spread like wildfire and galvanized other Tran-baccarat-victim-casinos to examine their own baccarat losses, which were quickly pegged to the scam by a widening interstate and international investigation.

My take: It is always hard to know when to stop when money is coming easy from a poker cheat or casino cheat scam. That is the simple reason why almost all of them eventually get caught.