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Washington State Gambling Commission arrests two people in relation to loan-sharking and money laundering operations at Macau casino

Athira A



Washington State Gambling Commission. Photo credits:
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The Washington State Gambling Commission discloses that an employee at a Washington state casino provided loans with extortionate interest rates and often eyed patrons and employees with gambling problems. The commission revealed the apprehension of two  people and the suspension of the gambling license of a third person for their roles in a loan-sharking and money laundering operation at the Macau Casino in Tukwila.

Authorities say that over the last two years, numerous complaints were registered by the commission and the Tukwila Police Department over  loan-sharking and money laundering activities.

A joint investigation revealed that a female employee was loaning cash and chips to casino patrons with escalated interest rates that in some cases went  up to 10 times the maximum interest rate allowed under the Washington state law.

After reviewing surveillance video, investigators determined that the woman provided about 100 loans to employees and patrons that totalled to at least $300,000.

The commission said, records show that the employee also laundered about $1.5 million through the casino — nearly 10 times the suspect’s reported annual income. The source of the cash is under investigation.

During a search of the suspect’s home, agents seized items believed to have been bought with illicit cash, including a luxury vehicle, jewellery, big-screen TVs, designer handbags and numerous smart phones, tablets, and gaming systems that were still in their original packaging. Agents also seized more than $45,000 in cash.

The 45-year-old employee and her 27-year-old boyfriend were arrested and booked into jail on charges of collection of unlawful debt, money laundering and use of extortionate means to collect loans.

Investigators said the casino’s General Manager, a 48-year-old Federal Way man, was aware of the illegal activities but did not report them to the Gambling Commission. His gambling license has been suspended.



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