Couple Charged, Another Couple Sought in Counterfeit Chip Schemes

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014  |  Updated 3:33 PM EDT
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Couples Investigated in Counterfeit Chip Scheme

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Couples Investigated in Counterfeit Chip Scheme

Two couples are being investigated for using counterfeit poker chips at Maryland Live! Casino last month, according to documents obtained by News4.
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Investigators say a suspect in a counterfeit poker chip scheme dumped many of the chips in a Springfield, Va., lake -- but the chips floated.

Authorities pulled more than $115,000 worth of the bogus chips from the water.

A husband and wife, Vuong Q. Truong, 37, and Rosa A. Nguyen, 36, of Annandale, Va., have been charged in connection with the case.

Police say Nguyen bought $12,000 worth of counterfeit casino chips online before the chips were altered to look like Maryland Live! Casino chips.

Nguyen is charged with one count of theft between $1,000 and $10,000, and two counts of conspiracy to commit theft between $1,000 and $10,000. Truong is charged with four counts of committing a theft scheme and one count of conspiracy to commit theft.

In a separate case, authorities are looking for two other people also suspected of using fraudulent chips at the same casino.

In that incident, investigators believe a boyfriend and girlfriend also from Northern Virginia got $1 chips from a West Virginia casino and altered them to look like $100 chips from Maryland Live!

That investigation is continuing.

The schemes came to light Jan. 20, when Maryland State Police investigators were called to the Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover. There, they found dozens of black $100 poker chips that security officers had scanned and had determined to be counterfeit.

A search warrant revealed the chips in question were larger than the standard Maryland Live! chips, and at least one -- originating from Charles Town Casino in West Virginia -- had been painted black.

Investigators believe the four suspects netted thousands of dollars over several days, gambling with the chips and cashing them in.

Officials at Maryland Live! told authorities they had descriptions of four suspects who had passed counterfeit $100 poker chips on two occasions.

One of the suspects was questioned earlier this month during a visit to the casino and said he had bought the chips online. He was not arrested.

Search warrants were served last week on four locations in Fairfax County, Va., including a home in Annandale. Investigators searched for casino-style poker chips and markers, paint or stickers used to alter chips.

Authorities say they found counterfeit chips floating in the in Lake Accotink in Springfield, Va., not far from Nguyen and Truong's home.

The schemes were uncovered just four days before a multimillion dollar counterfeit chip discovery resulted in the shutdown of a high-stakes poker tournament at the Bogata Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ. The incidents are not believed to be related.

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