Ocean's 24: Seattle Mayor’s son indicted on casino cheat charges

Two dozen people, including the son of Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, have been indicted on charges of cheating casinos in the U.S and Canada out of $3.3 million over a period of five years.

According to federal prosecutors, members of the gang known as the Tran Organisation, would bribe dealers to fix card games and order them to “false shuffle”  and use hidden transmitters with bespoke software to predict the order of cards.

In one incident, the gang defrauded $868,000 in 90 minutes from a Chicago casino. Altogether, eighteen casinos in Canada, California, Nevada, Mississippi, Louisiana, Washington State, Indiana and Connecticut were hit in the scheme. Ten of the targeted casinos were run by American Indian tribes.

However, as much as $2 million may have been cheated from Canadian casinos, according to Rob Knudsen, director of the gaming enforcement branch of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Jacob Dyson Nickels, son of the Mayor of Seattle, was a pit boss at Nooksack Indian Tribe’s Nooksack River Casino in 2005. He is alleged to have accepted $5,000 from the gang’s ringleaders for information about cheating dealers. The indictment at a U.S District Court in Seattle goes on to claim that two of the other defendants, George Lee and Tien Duc Vu, won over $90,000 whilst playing mini-baccarat, aided by Nickels and two of his crooked dealers, Levi Seth Mayfield and Kasey James.

Responding to the news that his son was on one charge of conspiracy and four counts of theft of funds from a gaming establishment, Mayor Nickels said: “We will be encouraging him to cooperate fully with the investigation. Until we know more we will have no comment on the substance of these allegations.”

Altogether, the 24 defendants were named in three indictments – two in Seattle and one in San Diego. In San Diego, conspiracy carries a maximum of 5 years in jail, whereas theft of funds from Indian casinos carries a maximum 10 year jail term.

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-05-25 11:13:10

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