FBI brings down casino cheating ring

Scheme affected 29 casinos from Canada to Mississippi


In a story posted on its website Friday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that the co-founder of an alleged card-cheating ring recently pled guilty to scamming numerous casinos out of millions of dollars.

The FBI says that Van Thu Tran, 45, along with her husband, parents, extended family, and others participated in a scheme that hit 29 casinos from Canada to Mississippi for about $7 million.

Tran and her husband reportedly devised a plan to use a "false shuffle" to track cards when they were working as dealers at an Indian tribal casino in San Diego in 2002.

From the FBI story, the scheme worked as follows:

When signaled, the crooked dealer would make a false shuffle. Through sleight-of-hand techniques that security cameras and pit bosses failed to notice, the false shuffle created a "slug"—a group of played cards whose order would not change when the rest of the cards were shuffled. When the slug next came to the top of the deck, members of the ring recognized the card pattern and knew how to bet.

Of the 47 individuals who have been indicted in the case, 42 have entered guilty pleas to various charges, according to the FBI. Click here to read the full story from the FBI’s website.