Former Crown Melbourne baccarat dealer and three players were charged over an alleged baccarat scam at the casino
Lawyers defending a former baccarat dealer at Crown Melbourne have subpoenaed the casino’s Investigation Manager to produce audio recordings from a room at the casino resort where the defendant was interrogated by Crown staff for allegedly scamming the casino out of more than A$400,000, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Michael Huo, a former baccarat dealer at Crown Melbourne, allegedly helped three players win A$431,000 at the casino by playing baccarat at his table for 58 hours in the period between March and May 2017. Fiona Shum, Yixuan Cui, and Ke Wang were the other three participants in the alleged con. All four were charged with dealing with proceeds of crime.
The incident took place in the high roller Mahagony Room at the Melbourne-based casino. According to court filings, Mr. Huo allegedly informed his associates which cards were coming next, thus helping them win big at the gambling venue.
Mr. Huo and his co-accused’s actions appeared on Crown’s radar screen during what the casino has called a “routine” check of the ten biggest wins from the previous day. The review included examination of CCTV data and of players’ betting patterns.
Mr. Huo and the three other defendants were arrested on May 1, when the players were playing at his table. According to a prosecution summary from the night of the arrests, numerous instances of “suspicious card handling” were spotted.
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The dealer allegedly took unnecessary long time to straighten and handle the cards. In addition, “the total amount of winnings on the first hand that evening was significant”, Crown staff told court.
Mr. Huo was detained and held for over three hours in a “holding room.” The baccarat dealer and one of the arrested three women were interrogated by Crown’s internal investigators before the police arrived.
Crown Fails to Produce Interrogation Information
Defense lawyers subpoenaed on Monday Jason McHutchison, Investigation Manager at Crown’s flagship property in Melbourne, arguing that he has failed to comply with court orders and present the requested evidence Crown investigators obtained during the interrogation of Mr. Huo and the co-accused player.
The defendant’s legal team sought a logbook containing information about all recording devices worn by Crown investigators on the night of the arrests, audio recordings from the “holding room”, as well as copies of text messages investigators sent and received during the interrogation.
Mr. McHutchison said that he could not produce copies of any text messages as he cleared late last year when he replaced his smartphone. He further pointed out he did not believe those contained any “evidentiary value.” Of the audio recordings from the night of interrogation, the Investigation Manager said that those were as there was no request made to be preserved within 14 days after the incident. The logbook did not contain information that could be considered relevant for the case, Mr.
McHutchison told court.
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