8 accused of illegal World Cup betting in Vegas - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

8 accused of illegal World Cup betting in Vegas

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Police hunt for 2 who carjacked SUV, killed 3 kids

    Police hunt for 2 who carjacked SUV, killed 3 kids

    Saturday, July 26 2014 2:02 AM EDT2014-07-26 06:02:47 GMT
    Police are searching for two men who carjacked an SUV and plowed into a group of children and adults selling fruit at a Philadelphia street corner, killing three kids and seriously injuring two women.More >>
    Police were searching for two men who carjacked an SUV and plowed into a group of children and adults selling fruit to raise money for their church, killing three kids and critically injuring their mother and the...More >>
  • Ohio State under shadow again, this time with band

    Ohio State under shadow again, this time with band

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:45 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:45:52 GMT
    The Ohio State marching band is moving forward without its director; a day after he was fired they're performing with the Columbus Symphony in what's often considered the band's unofficial season kickoff.More >>
    Having forced out a beloved football coach and watched its president retire after a series of verbal gaffes, Ohio State University again finds itself grabbing headlines with the firing of a celebrated marching band...More >>
  • Baby dies after being left in hot car in Kansas

    Baby dies after being left in hot car in Kansas

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:56 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:56:40 GMT
    Police have arrested the foster parent of a 10-month-old girl who died after being left inside a hot car in Wichita, Kansas.More >>
    A 10-month-old Kansas girl died after being strapped for more than two hours inside a sweltering car, and police arrested a foster parent who said he'd forgotten about her until something on TV jogged his memory, an...More >>
By MICHELLE RINDELS
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Eight people from Malaysia, China and Hong Kong were accused Monday of operating a temporary, illegal gambling ring from exclusive high-roller villas at a Las Vegas Strip resort that investigators said logged millions of dollars in bets on FIFA World Cup soccer games.

Wei Seng Phua, 50, a suspected organized crime member, and the others were named in a criminal complaint detailing the scheme to take bets over WiFi and DSL lines they had casino employees install in their suites at Caesars Palace.

During their arraignment, a federal judge granted a request that Phua and his son, a co-defendant, stay with a Las Vegas doctor and poker enthusiast while awaiting an Aug. 4 preliminary hearing.

Phua must post $2 million cash bail, wear a GPS monitoring device and put up his $48 million private Gulfstream jet as collateral, among other conditions.

Phua's lawyer, David Chesnoff, argued in court that his client has the means to leave the country but has cooperated with authorities since a July 9 raid.

"He had access to an aircraft that can fly anywhere in the world," Chesnoff said of Phua, who has an estimated worth of as much as $400 million. "In fact, he stayed here."

FBI and Nevada Gaming Control Board agents made the arrests Sunday after raids on Wednesday in three Caesars suites. Agents reported finding a laptop computer logging illegal wagers and other records.

The criminal complaint noted that at least some transactions in Las Vegas appeared to have been conducted over a website called "SBOBET."

U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said the Las Vegas operation began shortly after Phua left the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau, where he had been arrested June 18 and posted bail on similar allegations of illegal wagering on World Cup soccer games.

Phua is from Malaysia. Bogden identified him as a high-ranking member of 14K Triad, an organized crime group.

In court, Chesnoff questioned whether the triad was still operating or whether the allegation was "historical."

The others arrested were identified as Phua's son Darren Wai Kit Phua, 22; Seng Chen Yong, 56, and Wai Kin Yong, 22, all of Malaysia; Hui Tang, 44, of China; and Yan Zhang, 40, Yung Keung Fan, 46, and Herman Chun Sang Yeung, 36, all of Hong Kong.

None of the suspects entered pleas at the hearing.

Bogden said that if convicted, each could face up to two years in federal prison on an unlawful transmission count and up to five years in prison on an illegal gambling business count, as well as fines on each count of up to $250,000.

The prosecutor said casino officials cooperated in setting up computer equipment in the three rooms but became concerned that the arrangement, which featured multiple monitors and large television screens tuned to World Cup games, appeared to be a setup for an illegal gambling operation.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KDUH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.