Saturday, January 15, 2011

Poker Cheat and Casino Cheat Hall of Fame Lady Pleads Guilty to Masterminding Tran Organization Baccarat Scam!

The female co-founder of the criminal organization bearing her last name pled guilty in San Diego federal court yesterday to felony conspiracy in connection with her involvement in the biggest casino cheating scam ever to hit brick and mortar casinos. The key to the scam was recruiting baccarat dealers in dozens of US and Canadian casinos to join their huge scam, which relied on false shuffling to enable the baccarat cheats to scam millions of dollars from several large casinos including the two giant casinos in Connecticut, the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.
45-year-old Van Thu Tran, who has been inducted into the Casino and Poker Cheats Hall of Fame, admitted that in the summer of 2002, along with convicted co-conspirators Phuong Quoc Truong and Tai Khiem, she helped organize the Tran casino-cheating operation for the purpose of cheating casino baccarat tables in the two countries. She told the court that the cheating organization netted more than $7 Million from the huge baccarat scam (I believe the true figure is more like $20 Million). She agreed to forfeit various assets to the court, including cash, jewelry and cars. She will be sentenced on April 11 and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. There will also be restitution to the casinos victimized (I don't know how much that will be and how it will be distributed). With Miss Tran's plea agreement, that makes the total number of baccarat cheats to have pled guulty in the scam forty-two.

Assistant US Attorney General Larry A. Breuer said of the latest Tran co-conspirator to go down, "Today's guilty plea by the co-founder of the Tran Organization marks the final chapter for a group that targeted as many as twenty-nine casinos in the United States and Canada in their card cheating scheme."

My take: Long live the Trans! What should they do upon their releases from federal prisons? Well, for starters...maybe change their last name! LOL

Seriously: This was the largest and most well-organized massive casino-cheat scam in history that involved inside help from casino employees. These kinds of casino-cheat scams involving so many people always end up getting busted, but I have to say it is miraculous that their cheat scam went on for five or six years before that happened.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Repeat Roulette Cheating Scam Busted at Delaware Park Casino!

Jhon Soriano-Alequin of New York apparently doesn't get the message that rinky-dink roulette scams just are not worth the trouble, even in rinky-dink casinos. Soriano-Alequin, who comes from New York and apparently has more street smarts than casino smarts, was arrested for the ages-old roulette cheat scam of buying in for low-value roulette chips at one table and then passing them off to accomplices who snuck them into another roulette game in the casino after having bought in for higher-value roulette chips of their own. Since roulette chips are non-redeemable at the casino cage and assigned values on the table according to players' wishes, this type of scam is possible, although it is quite known by virtually every casino roulette dummy supervisor on the planet. What makes this worse is that Soriano's three roulette cheat accomplices; Joe Diaz, Nelson Gonzalez and Robert Dominguez, all from New York, got busted for this same scam in another casino back in September 2009 and were out on bail awaiting trial when they got caught with this new scam--last July! That's right, this latest scam happened six months ago, which leads to a load of questions such as "What took so long for the casino to bust these guys?"

The cheat charges this time are conspiracy and cheating at gambling, and theft. Soriano, who wasn't in on the first bust, got bail while his roulette-cheat buddies are gonna have to sit in jail for awhile. They won't be able to go for strike-three while awaiting trial this time.

My take: There is a lot of idiocy and delinquency involved here. First of all, did Soriano know his roulette-cheat cohorts had already been busted for the same scam, or was he duped into getting involved? I sure hope for his sake that he was duped! If not, he is an idiot and will surely be nominated for Casino-Cheat Turkey of the Year next Thanksgiving.

As far as Delaware's Delaware Park casino is concerned: Why did it take six months to arrest these guys? Is there surveillance team so inept that they didn't catch on when it was going on? If so, then how DID they catch on? Sounds like it may have been a rat job with one of the cheats' girlfriends or something???

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another Casino Refusal to Pay Slot Machine Jackpot...Phony Cheating Allegations?

Ernőné Marics, a very sexy Hungarian woman, thought she won a €25,000 jackpot at Casino Sopron in Budapest Christmas Day. But she is still waiting for the casino to pay her jackpot. Why the wait? Same old story: Casino Sopron claims Miss Marics somehow cheated, and if not, then the slot machine was out of order.

Looking at the sexy Hungarian, about the only thing I can think of that she cheated on is either her husband or boyfriend, as casinos would be full of men eager to hit the jackpot with HER! I surely would have loved to have her on my casino-cheating team!

As for the cheating allegations, Miss Marics told a Hungarian newspaper, "I own Hungary's most expensive wine. Why would I need to cheat this casino?" She said she was very upset. She then said that when she went to collect her jackpot, the director of the Sopron said there wasn't sufficient cash in the casino cage to cover it. (Who seems like it's doing the cheating here? Then the casino had the audacity to tell Miss Marics that she would be paid the jackpot money no later than December 27. She was given a promisory note to that effect along with a bottle of wine. (Like she really needed the wine!)

But when she returned to the casino on the 27th to cash out she learned that her membership card to the casino had been revoked and she was officially being accused of having cheated the slot machine. Then when that didn't go over too well, casino officials said the machine she'd hit the jackpot on was new and not functioning properly, its random number generator hitting too many jackpots at random, whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. Finally, the casino said it would have the manufacturer examine the machine to determine if or not it was faulty, and if not they would pay Miss Marics the jackpot.

The woman said she'd been loyally playing at the casino for fifteen years and nothing out of the ordinary ever happened when she hit smaller jackpots on the Sopron's slot machines.

My take: For those of you who don't remember, the Casino Sopron was the original victim of the Hungarian cheat trio who scammed roulette tables using laser devices in cell phones to clock the spinning wheel. That same team then went on to scam the Ritz Casino in London for $3 Million, and got away with the cash when a British court ruled that they were not guilty of cheating. These roulette cheat incidents may have made the Sopron Casino paranoid about cheating, thus their negative reaction to paying a slot jackpot that seems to me rightfully won.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Willy Allison Will Do ANYTHING To Keep His World Game Protection Conference Afloat!


 This time Allison is bringing in a "cybersatirist" as his keynote speaker...what the heck is that???

Not only has Allison, desperately trying to keep his dwindling WGPC attendee-list from getting shorter, outdone himself this year by bringing in a so-called "cybersatirist" to headline the conference, he has even added himself to the list of guest speakers as he cannot find anyone else with casino game-protection credibility to fill the holes. I mean, PLEASE, Willie, I can understand if you wanna bring in a cybercomic to crack a few jokes, which your World Game Protection Conference has become, but WHAT ON HEAVEN'S EARTH HAS A CYBERSATIRIST GOT TO DO WITH CASINO GAME PROTECTION OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT CONTAINS THE WORD "CASINO"? You are really insulting your list of potential attendees, and the ones who do indeed attend this year are really insulting themselves!

Oh, and by the way, the cybersatirist's name is Bob Hirschfeld if anybody cares.

Let's look at the rest of Allison's 2011 WGPC lineup:

Of course there are Bill Zender and Sal Piacente, the same one-plus-one combination that adds up to the same bullshit we've seen each of the past five years. At least at the conference, Zender doesn't have to email you with his stock line, "I still have seats available for my game protection training seminar in your area..." He can tell you at the beginning, middle and end of his presentation, which I'm sure he will.

And Piacente (who calls himself "Sal the Hitman") can wow you with his tired card tricks before he takes the podium with some more stuff which will hardly outdo his card tricks. Back at the 2007 WGPC, Piacente did a presentation on high-tech digital cheating. I, for one, wondered how Piacente knew so much on this subject given it had nothing to do with his past. Did he really know the ins and outs of high-tech cheating or did Allison have him take a brush-up course to get him ready for his gig? What do you think?

Next we have Jason England who for this edition of Allison's conference is being billed a slot cheat expert who is going to take you inside the mind of a slot cheat. That's a LAUGH! Gimme a break! Jason England is just another card trickster who knows some magic. How all of a sudden did he become a slot cheat expert?

Then there's a guy called Todd Morris who is going to talk about some fancy electronic gadgets that might or might not be applicable to casino game protection. I do not know much about him and have never met him, so I will let this one go.

Sitting in on a panel calling its presentation "The Incident Reports" is Darren Hoke, a casino surveillance director from a minor casino property in Louisiana. Hoke is another one of Allison's grinders who makes the rounds on his casino game protection "circuit."

Las Vegas attorney Bob Nersesian is going to give a presentation on how "casino stupidy" (Allison's program's actual words) helps customers suing casinos win judgements in court. Although Nersesian is a very versatile and respected attorney in his fields, this presentation doesn't have much to do with game protection and would serve better if given to a group of casino lawyers and not the typical surveillance people who attend the World Game Protection Conference.

Finally we will hear from Keith Copher, a 25-year veteran with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, ten years of which was spent as chief of its Enforcement Division. Copher may be the only presenter/speaker at the conference who is applicable to casino game protection, as he surely has a history of dealing with casino cheats and how the State of Nevada has dealt with them over the years. However, Copher has given all this up to become a gaming compliance consultant and a board member for the Organized Crime and Law Enforcement Museum, speaking of which: I think it's time for Allison's World Game Protection Conference to be put in a museum somewhere...it's that archaic.