SACRAMENTO— On August 23, 2017, Frank Luo, 49, of Las Vegas, was sentenced to three years in prison for wire fraud related to a nationwide casino and credit card fraud scheme. A case investigated by the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Gambling Control and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to court documents, between August 2008 and August 2014, Luo participated in a scheme to defraud casinos and credit card companies across the country. The scheme involved using false identities in the names and Social Security numbers of migrant workers to apply for casino credit called “markers” and to open credit card accounts. A marker is a cash advance provided by a casino to a patron, and it is often secured by a check from the patron’s bank account. Initially, Luo, working in concert with co-defendant Vivian Wang 54, of Lilburn, Georgia, timely repaid several markers at different casinos and several credit cards in order to give the impression of creditworthiness to future casinos and credit card companies. Luo and Wang recruited “clients” to participate in the scheme to induce the casinos and credit card companies to part with even more money under fraudulent pretenses.
Luo and his co-schemers coordinated their gambling activity in order to give the appearance of losing money (and thereby encouraging the casinos to issue future markers) when in fact one schemer would “lose” money while another would gain the same. In other instances, one schemer would surreptitiously deliver the issued gambling chips to another in order to give the appearance of having spent them. At the end of the scheme, Luo and his co-schemers did not repay the casino markers or the significant outstanding credit card balances accrued in a short amount of time once creditworthiness had been established. The combined fraud led to over $1.1 million in losses to casinos and credit card companies.
“Investigating cases involving casinos and credit card companies can be extremely complex,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “This scheme defrauding went on for years and in many states. Congratulations to our DOJ special agents who saw this through!”
Charges are pending against Wang. She is scheduled for trial in March 2018.