An Alpharetta woman was sentenced Monday to two years in prison after pleading guilty to scamming casinos and credit card companies across the country out of $1.1 million, the California-based Daily Democrat reported.
Vivian Wang, 55, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in February, AJC.com previously reported. Her case was the product of a joint investigation by the FBI and California’s Bureau of Gambling Control.
Between 2008 and 2014, Wang and a co-defendant — Frank Luo, 49, of Las Vegas — participated in a scheme to defraud casinos and credit card companies, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of California said.
They used the names and social security numbers of migrant workers to apply for casino credit, which is also called a “marker,” and to open credit card accounts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Casino credit is a cash advance provided by a casino to a patron, and it is often secured by a check from the person’s bank account.
Wang and Luo started by paying off several of these “markers” on time to give the illusion of “credit worthiness” to both the casinos and credit card companies, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. However, Wang and Luo then recruited “clients” to trick the casinos and credit card companies to part with even more money under fraudulent pretenses, authorities said.
They coordinated their gambling activity to give the appearance of losing money, which further encouraged the casinos to issue even more “markers,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. One schemer would pretend to lose money while another would gain the same amount.
Sometimes, one schemer would secretly give gambling chips to another so it would seem like they spent them, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. But they never paid back the casino credits or the outstanding credit card balances they accrued, which added up to more than $1.1 million in losses for them.
Records show that Wang lived in a five-bedroom home on Relais Trace in Alpharetta from 2007 to 2016. Most recently, she lived in Lilburn.
Luo pleaded guilty in August 2017 and was sentenced to three years in prison.
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