Former Baccarat Dealer Sentenced over $1m Cheating Scheme

  • Ming Zhang worked as a baccarat dealer at the MGM National Harbor Casino in Maryland
  • The 32-year-old has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison
  • Has also been ordered to pay full restitution of $1,046,560
red and green chips on a baccarat table
A former baccarat dealer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for cheating at Maryland’s MGM National Harbor Casino. [Image:]

18 months behind bars

A man who worked as a baccarat dealer at a casino in Maryland has been handed an 18-month federal prison sentence for his involvement in a cheating scandal that saw the casino lose more than $1m.

Zhang will also have to pay full restitution of $1,046,560

Ming Zhang, 32, also faces three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence. Zhang will also have to pay full restitution of $1,046,560 for his role in the cheating scheme.

Zhang originally faced up to five years behind bars after entering a guilty plea in September 2018 for conspiring to transport stolen funds.

Zhang’s role

Zhang’s role in the cheating scheme involved informing his co-conspirator of when he would be dealing at the baccarat tables.

An incident took place in September 2017 that saw Zhang expose a portion of the deck to one player in the process of dealing the cards. The unshuffled cards were photographed before significant bets were placed.

The result of knowing what order cards are lying in a deck allows for a very accurate prediction of the outcome of the subsequent hands, which can lead to significant losses for the casino.

Not an isolated case

Zhang was also present when his alleged co-conspirator executed the cheating scheme at another casino. He was given $1,000 at a nearby hotel later that evening for the role he played.

Zhang was found out when he tried to get one of the co-conspirators to pay him more money. While he was promised a phone call later that day, it never came. Instead, he was confronted by investigators the following day.

He originally lied about having any role in the plot, but evidence proved otherwise.

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