3 fromChina plead guilty in Las Ve­gas gambling case

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Las Ve­gas

Awom­anand twom­en­from China pleaded guilty in­fed­eral court in Las Ve­gas on Tues­day to re­duced charges in what pros­e­cu­tors say amounted to a $13 mil­lion il­le­gal In­ter­net gambling op­er­a­tion bro­ken up by an FBI raid on high-roller suites at Cae­sars Palace.

Yan Zhang, 41, and the two men, Yung Keung Fan, 46, and Her­manChun Sang Ye­ung, 36, each pleaded guilty be­fore US Dis­trict Judge An­drew Gor­don to mis­de­meanor ac­ces­sory after the fact charges, ad­mit­ting that they knew il­le­gal wa­gers were be­ing trans­mit­ted.

The trio of plea deals hinge on two more de­fen­dants plead­ing guilty on Wed­nes­day: Seng Chen Yong, 56, to a mis­de­meanor ac­ces­sory charge, and Hui Tang, 44, to felony il­le­gal trans­mis­sion wa­ger­ing in­for­ma­tion.

A sixth co-de­fen­dant, Wai Kin Yong, 23, the son of Seng Chen Yong, is sched­uled to have charges dis­missed.

That would leave Wei Seng “Paul” Phua and his son, Dar­ren Wai Kit Phua, to face felony charges in­clud­ing op­er­at­ing an il­le­gal gambling business and un­law­ful trans­mis­sion of wa­ger­ing in­for­ma­tion charges that each carry a

of pos­si­ble penalty of up to seven years in prison.

De­fense at­tor­neys for the Phuas are fight­ing their charges, al­leg­ing the FBI im­prop­erly en­listed Cae­sars Palace of­fi­cials to shut off In­ter­net ser­vices so that FBI agents wear­ing lapel cam­eras could en­ter and col­lect enough in­for­ma­tion to ob­tain a cru­cial search war­rant.

The war­rant led to the ar­rest of the eight peo­ple last July in three high-roller suites equipped with com­put­ers and elec­tronic equip­ment.

Wei Seng Phua had been ar­rested in June on charges of run­ning an il­le­gal sports gambling business in­Ma­cao.

He flew a few days later to Las Ve­gas, where fed­eral au­thor­i­ties im­pounded his pri­vate jet pend­ing res­o­lu­tion of the US case.

Zhang, Fan and Ye­ung were each fined $100,000.

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