A group of New York City con artists conspired to scam five Atlantic City casinos out of $1,120,000 by exchanging bogus bank checks for gaming chips, authorities said.
The Hard Rock casino rejected a check and the Golden Nugget permitted only incremental amounts, Acting New Jersey Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck said Thursday.
But Caesars, the Borgata and the Ocean Casino Resort all honored $284,000 checks, losing a combined total of $852,000, he said.
The New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau and the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau began investigating soon after. Before long, they'd obtained indictments against five defendants, four of them from Queens and one from Brooklyn.
Only one was in custody as of Thursday, Bruck said: Qingtao Zhang, 53, of Flushing remained detained in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Wanted on warrants were four others: Xiuhuan Zhang, 65, and Sen Ge, 29, also of Flushing, Shuai Liu, 30, of College Point and Peng Cai, 33, of Brooklyn. All are charged with conspiracy, theft and attempted theft.
The two Zhangs presented the false checks at each of the five casinos, the indictment returned in Trenton charges.
The others "assisted them at various times, along with other individuals who remain under investigation," Bruck said.
Deputy Attorneys General Nicole E. Wise and Jennifer Fipp secured the indictment amid an investigation led by New Jersey State Police Detective Laura Faulkner, he said.
THE INDICTMENT: nj.gov/oag/newsreleases21/Indictment
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