Source: Northern Echo
A NORTH-EAST fraudster who targeted casinos admitted a series of cheating and fraud offences today, police said. Iranian-born Bahram Sahami, 37, cheated at American roulette by adding or removing chips from the table after the ball had dropped or by stealing other players chips, Scotland Yard said. Sahami, of Coltman Street, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to three counts of fraud, three of cheating at gambling, and two of theft, a spokesman said. His prosecution was the third of its kind in the UK since the Gambling Act 2005 came into force in 2007, he added.
Sahami, who had been nationally barred by all major casino operators for cheating, used at least four false identities to gain access to London casinos between March and July 2009, the spokesman said. These identities were supported by identification in the form of membership cards or UK driving licences.
It has been calculated that he would gain between £25 and £130 per cheat or theft. "It is difficult to be precise about the amount Sahami made from his actions but it is known that he would commit multiple offences at a time," the spokesman said.
He was arrested after he was caught on CCTV cheating at a Gala Coral Group casino. Detective Inspector Ann-Marie Waller of the Metropolitan Police's human exploitation and organised crime command said: "Sahami was a brazen and determined fraudster who cheated not only the casinos but fellow punters out of hundreds of pounds a time."
He will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on November 5.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Twenty-five men fell victim to the scam as the cheats engaged them in friendly conversation on golf courses at posh Korean country clubs and persuaded them to take a golf trip to China. There, the Korean scam artists set up phony casinos to swindle the victims who were eager for some hardy gambling action after a pleasurable day on the links, where some betting surely took place between holes.
Prosecutors in Seoul, Korea say they have arrested seventeen people, including one woman, and that a half-dozen more are still being sought. The leader of the cheat-team has been identified only as Choi and is said to be fifty-eight years-old. His thirty-seven year-old female partner has been identified only as Kim. Sex may have been used as well to lure the gambling cheats' victims into the bogus casinos. Choi is still at large.
The phony casinos were staged inside large banquet halls with fake camera-bubbles on the ceilings with all the works in hotels in Haikou, Weihai and Xiamen. The victims played their preferred game of baccarat while bystanders who were part of the scam rooted them on to "beat the casino." At first the victims won but then cheating dealing-techniques were used to quickly traansform their good luck into a nightmare. As they continued losing money, Choi's partners began lending them huge amounts of money at zero interest rates, and because welching on debts is extremely frowned upon among respectable Korean businessmen, they immediately wired the funds to pay off these loans once having returned to Korea.
One newspaper quoted a Korean prosecutor as stating that the cheats used scams similar to those depicted in the famous Robert Redford/Paul Newman con-artist movie, "The Sting" and the South Korean movie "High Rollers," in which ironically a temptress approaches businessmen at a golf club.
My take: Heck, I would have loved to see this go down! It takes balls setting up a phony casino in a hotel...especially if no one on the hotel staff was involved, which amazingly appears to be the case.
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
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.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
"The Full Tilt Poker Security department has recently concluded an extensive investigation and we have determined that some of your opponents were in violation of our site terms.
We have permanently closed all of the offending accounts. In cases of proven cheating, 100% of the confiscated funds are returned to the players who were victimized. The reimbursement calculation is based on the number of tournaments or hands played against the offending players, and the amount won or lost against them.
We have determined that you are entitled to a refund of $X which will be placed in your account in the next 72 hours.
For a number of reasons, we are unable to provide any other additional information regarding this case, including the players involved and the game type where it occurred. We thank you for your understanding in this regard. The vigilance of our players in reporting suspicious behavior is an important addition to our ongoing diligence against unethical conduct, and we carefully investigate every concern of suspicious activity.
If you believe you have witnessed unfair play at our tables, please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is any other way we can be of assistance, please let us know.
My Take: I hate to use cliches but it is what it is. In other words, not much.