Student jailed for colluding with dealer to cheat MBS' casino of $19,700

The three men involved in the scam caused a loss of $19,700 to Marina Bay Sands' (MBS') casino.
The three men involved in the scam caused a loss of $19,700 to Marina Bay Sands' (MBS') casino. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The third and final man involved in a scam to cheat Marina Bay Sands' (MBS') casino was jailed for 15 weeks on Wednesday (April 12).

Student Li Zhifan, 25, a Chinese national, had admitted to 20 charges of colluding mostly with Jiang Kaiwan, 24, then a dealer with MBS' casino, to get money from playing the Baccarat game at the casino between April 14 and May 3 last year.

Jiang had been given eight months and 12 weeks' jail for criminal breach of trust and colluding with Li and Chinese national Dong Hao, 23 , a student, to overpay them chips. He had pleaded guilty last year to 20 of 90 charges involving $118,000.

Dong has been dealt with, having served eight weeks' jail on six of 19 charges.

A district court heard that Jiang would either overpay winning wagers to Li at casino tables he operated or omit to take his losing bets, and might even pay out on Li's losing bet.

Whenever Li wanted to change chips, Jiang would give him extra chips. The chips would then be converted to cash at the casino.

In April last year, Li roped in Dong into the fraudulent practice.

After the scam, the trio would meet at the toilets of MBS' hotel tower to split the crime proceeds.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Randeep Singh Koonar had told the court that in March last year, Jiang revealed to Li that he had unintentionally overpaid a patron at one of the tables and it was not discovered by MBS management.

After a discussion, the duo hatched the fraudulent practice to overpay chips.

In total, the three men caused a loss of $19,700 to MBS' casino. Restitution amounting to $20,275 was paid collectively to MBS on May 30 last year.

In mitigation, Li's lawyer Alagappan Arunasalam said his client was a "passive follower" of Jiang, who was the mastermind and had used his client to take revenge on his employers.

He said Jiang was unhappy with the casino for the way it had handled and sided unruly patrons whenever disputes involving Jiang occurred.

Li, he added, is remorseful for his actions, is of very good character, and has spent his free time helping out in charitable institutions.

The maximum penalty is a $150,000 fine and seven years' jail on each charge.