Federal prosecutors charged a baccarat dealer at MGM National Harbor Casino with being part of a cheating conspiracy, the News4 I-Team has learned.
Ming Zhang is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland, Tuesday for arraignment on a charge of conspiracy to transport stolen funds.
Zhang worked with at least one co-conspirator on a scheme to personally profit from his dealing of cards at baccarat, charging documents said. Zhang exposed a portion of the card deck to his co-conspirator, the charging documents said. The co-conspirator took a picture of the deck of cards and would make large bets after doing so, the document said. Then the dealer failed to shuffle the portion of the deck he exposed to his co-conspirator, prosecutors said in the documents.
Zhang is accused of calling his co-conspirator to help arrange the scheme and to seek a portion of the proceeds. His lawyer declined requests for comment. So did the Baltimore field office of the FBI.
The charging documents said other conspirators are suspected.
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency has been notified about the investigation, a spokeswoman said. The agency regulates Maryland’s six casinos.
The scheme was allegedly operated in September 2017, less than one year after the opening of MGM National Harbor. A casino spokesman did not immediately return requests for comment.
A December 2016 report from the News4 I-Team found more than 200 cheating cases have occurred at Maryland casinos since 2010. Maryland gaming industry analyst James Karmel told the I-Team cheating operations tend to target newer casinos, under the assumption those casinos have weaker systems to deter or catch cheaters.