3 fromChina plead guilty in Las Vegas gambling case
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.