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Casino dealer pleads guilty to helping players cheat MGM National Harbor out of $1M

September 14, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Casino dealer pleads guilty to helping players cheat MGM National Harbor out of $1M

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Casino dealer pleads guilty to helping players cheat MGM National Harbor out of $1M

On Tuesday, a former casino baccarat dealer entered a guilty plea to charges alleging that he helped patrons cheat the casino out of more than $1 million in exchange for a cut of the cash.

Ming Zhang of Alexandria, Virginia, is facing five years behind bars after pleading guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy to transport stolen funds, CBS Local reported.

Zhang showed part of a baccarat deck to a player who took pictures of the unshuffled cards before that player and other “conspirators” put large bets on hands last September, according to court documents. Players can reportedly predict the outcome of the hands “with near-perfect accuracy” if they know the order of the cards, Assistant US Attorney Erin Pulice revealed.

Investigators indicated that the scheme cost the casino, which has not been identified, $1,046,560.

However, a spokesperson for MGM National Harbor verified that Zhang was employed by the casino, which is located near Washington, DC.

“Ming Zhang is no longer employed by MGM National Harbor. We have provided our cooperation with authorities throughout this investigation,”the facility’s spokesman, Malik Husser, announced in a statement.

Zhang’s sentencing has been scheduled for January 31st.

On Tuesday, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency spokeswoman Carole Gentry announced that the state regulatory agency was in the process of removing Zhang’s license.

MGM National Harbor, one of six casinos in the state, opened on the banks of the Potomac River in 2016.

A court filing that supplemented Zhang’s plea said the conspiracy targeted at least one other casino in Maryland. Between July 2017 and September 2017, Zhang was present when a purported co-conspirator carried out the scheme at a different casino. Zhang was paid $1,000 after he met with the person at a hotel near the other casino.

After they executed the cheating scheme, Zhang called one of his co-conspirators to arrange for additional compensation. That person, who was on his way to New York, said he would contact him when he returned.

Investigators approached Zhang the following day, who denied the allegations against him.

A spokeswoman for US Attorney Robert Hur’s office indicated that Zhang has been the only person charged in the case thus far.

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