Date
13 December 2017
High-stakes poker player Paul Phua is accused of running an illegal betting ring out of suites in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Photos: pokernews.com, Bloomberg
High-stakes poker player Paul Phua is accused of running an illegal betting ring out of suites in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Photos: pokernews.com, Bloomberg

Trio plead guilty in Vegas internet gambling bust

An FBI raid of a US$13 million illegal internet gambling operation at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas has led to the conviction of a Chinese woman and two Hong Kong men.

Zhang Yan, 41, and the two men, Fan Yung-keung, 46, and Herman Yeung Chun-sang, 36, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to reduced charges of being an accessory after the fact, admitting that they knew illegal wagers were being transmitted, AP reported.

Their plea deals depend on two more defendants pleading guilty Wednesday: Yong Seng-chen, 56, to a misdemeanor charge of being an accessory and Tang Hui, 44, to a felony charge of illegal transmission of wagering information.

Malaysian high-stakes poker player “Paul” Phua Wei-seng and his son, Darren Phua Wai-kit, will face felony charges including operating an illegal gambling business and unlawful transmission of wagering information. Each carry a possible penalty of up to seven years in prison.

The FBI arrested the defendants in July in three high-roller suites filled with computers and electronic equipment.

Paul Phua had been arrested in June on charges of running an illegal sports gambling business in Macau.

He flew a few days later to Las Vegas, where federal authorities impounded his private jet.

Zhang, Fan and Yeung were each fined a little more than US$100,000, agreed to forfeit US$150,000 and were granted five years’ unsupervised probation and ordered to leave the United States in the next few days.

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