States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|January 15, 2010||
FORMER MOHEGAN SUN CARD DEALER ADMITS ROLE IN CHEATING CONSPIRACY
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JESUS RODRIGUEZ. 40, of Grove Avenue, Groton, pleaded guilty yesterday, January 14, before United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven to one count of conspiracy stemming from his involvement in a sophisticated card cheating scheme that victimized numerous North American casinos, including Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2005, while employed as a card dealer at Mohegan Sun Casino, RODRIGUEZ participated in a scheme to cheat at gambling at the casino. Through this scheme, RODRIGUEZ helped a criminal organization, referred to as the “Tran Organization,” which was based in San Diego, California, steal more than $100,000 by cheating at blackjack and mini-baccarat at the casino.
In pleading guilty, RODRIGUEZ admitted that performed “false shuffles” at the direction of other co-conspirators. Through this false shuffle scheme, a co-conspirator tracked the order of cards as they were legitimately played and then RODRIGUEZ, who was bribed or had been promised a bribe, performed a false shuffle. After the false shuffle created a “slug” of un-shuffled cards, a co-conspirator tracked the order of cards until the slug reappeared in the cards as they were being dealt. A co-conspirator then signaled to other co-conspirators as to how to bet on the subsequent hands in order to cheat the casino out of its funds.
Judge Kravitz has scheduled sentencing for April 7, 2010, at which time RODRIGUEZ faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and fine of up to $250,000.
More than 30 individuals, including RODRIGUEZ, were charged in the Southern District of California as a result of this investigation, which was led by the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section (OCRS). The cheating schemes occurred at more than two dozen casinos in the United States and Canada.
The parties agreed to transfer the RODRIGUEZ case to the District of Connecticut for further prosecution.
This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s San Diego Field Office; the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division; the San Diego Sheriff’s Department; and the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Gambling Control. The investigation also has received assistance from several additional federal, state, tribal and foreign authorities. This matter is being prosecuted in the District of Connecticut by Assistant United States Attorney Michael S. McGarry.
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