21 Charged in Vegas Casino Money Laundering Scheme

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  • Defendants used counterfeit cards and stolen credit card numbers as part of the scam
  • Perpetrators also rang up annual tabs of $95,000 at some of Vegas’ trendiest clubs
  • Based in Las Vegas, those charged also used stolen funds to gamble in casinos across the US
  • Employees of high-end Brazilian steakhouses were utilized to hack into computer systems in order to steal customer credit card info

Federal authorities have charged 21 individuals with running a multimillion-dollar money laundering operation from Las Vegas casinos as part of a 47-count indictment.

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The individuals are accused of using counterfeit cards and stolen account numbers for cash withdrawals and retail purchases at casinos and luxury stores over a period of more than three years.  Prosecutors are seeking $6 million in forfeiture. 

The perpetrators also rang up annual tabs of $95,000 at some of Vegas’ trendiest clubs including Hakkasan and XS nightclubs.

With Las Vegas as the base of operations, the group traveled from casino to casino across the United States, including those in Biloxi, Mississippi, New Orleans, Atlantic City and Michigan.

The indictment lists $2.6 million in cash withdrawals at MGM Resorts International properties alone.  Luxury goods, including expensive Rolex watches, were also purchased using the stolen funds.

Authorities also claim items bought via mail order using the compromised credit cards were shipped to addresses in both Las Vegas and San Jose, California, then pawned off for cash.

The crew even used employees of expensive Brazilian steakhouses to assist in hacking of computer systems in order to obtain customer credit card numbers.

Ten of those named in the indictment remain on the run.  Each of the defendants is originally from Brazil.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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