GREENBELT, Md. – A man who worked as a dealer baccarat at a Maryland casino pleaded guilty on Tuesday to helping players cheat the casino of slightly more than $1 million in exchange for a share of the proceeds.
Zhang Ming of Alexandria, Virginia, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison after his guilty plea in federal court to one count of conspiracy to transport stolen money.
Zhang section of a baccarat deck to the player who photographed the unshuffled cards to the player and other “conspirators” big bets placed on the hands, last September, a court filing says. Bettors can predict the outcome of baccarat hands “with an almost perfect accuracy” when they know that the order of the cards in a deck, said Deputy district Attorney of the s. S. Erin Pulice.
Pulice said the scheme caused a total loss of $1,046,560 to the casino, not mentioned in the court papers and was not named on Tuesday during the hearing in Greenbelt.
However, a spokesman for MGM National Harbor, confirmed that Zhang had worked for the casino, which is in the vicinity of Washington, D. C.
“Zhang Ming is no longer in service with MGM National Harbor. We have our full cooperation with the authorities in this investigation,” the casino spokesman, Malik Husser, said in a statement.
U. S. District Judge Paul Grimm is scheduled to sentence Zhang on Jan. 31.
Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency spokeswoman Carole Gentry said Tuesday that the state regulatory authority was in the process of the withdrawal of Zhang ‘ s license.
MGM National Harbor, one of the six casinos in Maryland, opened on the banks of the Potomac River in December 2016.
A court to Zhang guilty plea says the fraud scheme aimed at least one other Maryland casino. Somewhere between July 2017 and September 2017, Zhang was present at an alleged co-conspirator carried out the cheating scheme at casinos. Zhang agreed to a payment of $1000, after a meeting with that person at a hotel near the other casino, the filing says.
After they carried out the fraud scheme, Zhang contacted one of his alleged co-conspirators to provide for more compensation, researchers said. That person, who returns to New York, promised to contact him later.
The following day, however, the researchers apparently confronted Zhang, who lied about the scheme, according to a Tuesday court filing.
Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for the AMERICAN Lawyer Robert Hur ‘ s office, said in an e-mail that Zhang is the only person currently charged in the case.