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Press Release

Press Release AG’s Office Charges Five Individuals in Connection With Crimes at Encore Casino

Casino Dealer and Two Others Indicted in Baccarat Cheating Scheme; Two Individuals Indicted in Connection with a Stabbing
For immediate release:
3/05/2021
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Media Contact for AG’s Office Charges Five Individuals in Connection With Crimes at Encore Casino

Chloe Gotsis

WOBURNFive individuals have been charged in two separate incidents at Encore Boston Harbor, including a cheating scheme and a stabbing at the casino, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

In one incident, an Encore casino dealer, a former casino dealer from Maryland, and a third individual from Philadelphia have been indicted in connection with a cheating scheme that netted the group a total of $23,500 over two nights. In the other incident, a Framingham man and a Natick man have been indicted in connection with an unrelated assault and battery at the casino.

Cheating Scheme

Jianming Li, 53, of Delaware, and Jun Zhang, 41, of New York, were indicted today by a Middlesex County Grand Jury on the charges of Cheating Under the Gaming Act (two counts each), Conspiracy (two counts each), and Larceny by a Single Scheme (one count each). Li was also charged with Making False Statements to the Gaming Commission (one count).

De Lin, 46, of Philadelphia, was indicted on the charge of Cheating Under the Gaming Act (one count), and Conspiracy (one count). All of the defendants will be arraigned on the charges in Middlesex Superior Court at a later date.

Authorities allege that Li, an Encore Boston Harbor casino dealer, colluded with Zhang, a former Maryland casino dealer, and Lin in a cheating scheme in the game of Baccarat that netted them a total of $23,500 over two nights. It is alleged that while he was dealing the cards, Li exposed a series of playing cards, memorized them, marked them with a ‘bookmark’ card, then used his cell phone to communicate the cards and their order to Zhang, when both excused themselves to use separate bathrooms.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Kevin P. McCarthy and Canan Yesilcimen, of AG Healey’s Gaming Enforcement Division. The case was investigated by the Massachusetts State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit at Encore Boston Harbor with assistance from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the AG’s Gaming Enforcement Division, and Everett Police, and with the cooperation of Encore Boston Harbor.

Assault and Battery Incident

David Guante, 30, of Natick, was indicted today by a Middlesex County Grand Jury on the charge of Assault and Battery Dangerous with a Dangerous Weapon (one count). James Johnson, 30, of Framingham, was also indicted on the charge of Assault and Battery (one count). Both will be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court at a later date.

According to an investigation by the Massachusetts State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit at Encore Boston Harbor, Guante and Johnson became involved in a dispute with another casino patron by the casino cashier. This dispute resulted in Johnson striking the alleged victim in the face. Guante and the victim, then engaged in a fight, during which Guante allegedly stabbed the victim once in his abdomen. 

All of these charges are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Emil A. Ata, of AG Healey’s Gaming Enforcement Division with assistance from Victim Witness Advocate Ceara Tavares, of AG Healey’s Victim/Witness Services Division. The case was investigated by the Massachusetts State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit at Encore Boston Harbor with assistance from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the AG’s Gaming Enforcement Division, Everett Police Department, Framingham Police Department, Natick Police Department, Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and the cooperation of Encore Boston Harbor.

AG Healey’s Gaming Enforcement Division has a dedicated group of prosecutors and investigators who enforce the state’s Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 and investigate and prosecute illegal activity such as gaming-related financial crime, organized crime, corruption and money laundering, including the majority of criminal activity occurring at the state’s casinos.

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Media Contact for AG’s Office Charges Five Individuals in Connection With Crimes at Encore Casino

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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