Vietnamese American imprisoned for $7mil casino cheat

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A Vietnamese American man was sentenced to nearly six years in US federal prison on Monday for cheating dozens of local casinos out of a total of US$7 million, AP reported.

Phuong Quoc Truong was also ordered to pay $5.7 million in restitutions and forfeit nearly $2.8 million in fines and properties in Vietnam, including a 2001 Porsche Carrera, a Rolex watch and jewelry.

According to the news source, Phuong led a ring, known as the "Tran Organization", which bribed casino card dealers and supervisors to perform "false shuffles" when he or one of his associates signaled, creating "slugs," or groups of unshuffled cards.

Once the slug appeared on the table, the ring members knew the order of the next cards, and could bet accordingly, it said.

Phuong, who worked as a dealer at the Sycuan Resort and Casino near San Diego until he was fired in 2002, and his associates also used hidden transmitters and software to predict the order in which the cards would appear in blackjack games, prosecutors said.

Since it was established in 2002, the ring, in which 37 defendants were involved, had targeted 27 casinos across the US, AP quoted the indictment as saying.

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