Oahu Men Charged With Operating Gambling Business
HONOLULU – Three Oahu residents made their initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Richard L. Puglisi today after being charged in a criminal complaint with conducting an illegal gambling business from approximately January to the present. Delvin Phuong Pham, age 48, Ken Truong, age 33, and Cam Lam, age 38, had been arrested on November 7, and were released on unsecured bonds by Judge Puglisi pending their preliminary hearing on November 24.
Florence T. Nakakuni, Untied States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that according to allegations contained in the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint filed in court, Pham and Truong received proceeds from the operation of an illegal gambling business on Smith Street in downtown Honolulu, which contained approximately seven illegal gambling machines.
The affidavit further alleges that Pham opened a room where illegal baccarat betting occurred on Pauahi Street in downtown Honolulu on October 7, 2014. The affidavit recounts that the Smith Street location made a profit of approximately $109,000 from July 7 through September 22, 2014, and the baccarat room made a profit of $28,000 in ten days. The affidavit also alleges that Pham, in an effort to have police stay away from and protect gambling establishments, paid two Honolulu Police Department officers a total of $3,600, plus an additional $4,000 for an expected return of gambling machines seized by HPD from his establishments. The two HPD officers only pretended to assist Pham and were actually furthering the criminal investigation.
If indicted and convicted, each defendant faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge in the complaint, as well as the information in the complaint affidavit, are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The case resulted from an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and the Honolulu Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris A. Thomas.