California Man Who Cheated Las Vegas Casinos out of $1 Million Sentenced to Six Years in Federal Prison
Las Vegas, Nev. – A southern California man who defrauded several local casinos of about $1 million by using a casino credit marker scheme has been sentenced to six years in prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
De Rong Shang, aka Jason Shang, 50, of San Gabriel, Calif., was sentenced on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Roger L. Hunt to 72 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Shang was convicted by a jury in March of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 22 counts of wire fraud.
From about December 2006 to April 2007, Shang conducted a conspiracy and scheme to defraud casinos in Las Vegas. Shang and co-defendant Yuli Eaton, 47, of Redlands, Calif., who pleaded guilty to conspiracy before trial, recruited persons to open bank accounts which were funded by Shang. Shang then helped the recruits apply for lines of credit at several Las Vegas casinos. Once the lines of credit were approved, the recruits transferred the money from their account to Shang's account. The recruits then withdrew chips from their lines of credit ("markers") and played baccarat at the casinos. The recruits were instructed to use a process known as rolling the chips, to make it look like they were actually losing money when they were actually just hiding chips and transferring them to other co-conspirators. The recruits then applied for higher lines of credit and played baccarat again using the rolling process to make it look like they had lost. In actuality, they gave the chips to Shang, who cashed them in. The recruits then left Nevada or the country, and were paid a small percentage of the total amount of credit under their name, generally $300 per $10,000 line of credit. The casinos attempted to collect the unpaid markers, but by that time, the accounts had been drained or closed. Using this scheme, Shang and Eaton defrauded three local casinos of $1,011,400.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI, and the case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew W. Duncan and Brandon C. Jaroch.
Today's announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices and state and local partners, it's the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.