Casino News

Woman Sentenced in Million-Dollar Fraud Case

This week, a Quebec court ruled that the 45-year-old Yuan Wang has been served a suspended sentence and probation for three years over charges of a number of gambling-related scams. She was reportedly involved in a series of schemes at several gambling halls in Ontario and Quebec in the summer of 2018, including Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort.

Back in 2018, the Niagara Investigations Unit of the Ontario Provincial Police Investigations and Enforcement Bureau, attached to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, conducted an inquiry after it was discovered that a number of frauds and attempted frauds occurred in Ontario and Quebec gaming properties. These were similar to previous incidents in Alberta and B.C.

The Scheme

Her defrauding attempts included a casino patron sending one of the casinos a copy of a bank draft from the National Bank of Canada. The property would verify the drafts, and at that time a person pretending to be a bank employee would confirm the documents were authentic. These funds would be then deposited and the individual then withdraw it from the casino in chips and cash.

The gaming establishment would be later alerted that the drafts were fake, but by that time the money would be long gone. In August 2018, Ms. Wang filed a digital copy of a bank draft to Casino Lac-Leamy in Quebec in the amount of CA$500,000. She then proceeded to withdraw the funds from the casino. She was arrested in early 2019 along with Daud Srosh from Brampton.

Judge Rosemarie Millar commented Ms. Wang’s sentence should be similar to the sentence given to similar offenders. She explained the court believed a suspended sentence with a probation order would be a suitable sentence. A sentence individualized for the accused’s situation and a sentence in accord with the one received by a co-accused and another fraudster noted the judge.

Defence lawyer Leonardo Rossomano remarked his client had lost almost CA$3 million in gambling over five years and her addiction largely affected her life. The woman had also previously joined in a self-exclusion program, therefore, she was not allowed at Ontario casinos, which led her to Quebec. She was ordered to pay the casinos CA$125,000 in restitution.

Ontario Casinos Handle Over CA$372M in Shady Transactions

In May 2023, a report discovered that over CA$372 million in suspicious transactions had been made across Ontario gaming properties in 2022. One of those transactions includes a case of more than CA$4 million made over several years by Branavan Kanapathipillai. He made a large cash buy-in at Pickering Casino Resort in 2022, which was reported by staff.

However, the news raised some concerns in the province. Cal Chrustie, a former RCMP investigator who was involved in money laundering and transnational investigations, shared his expertise on the issue. His guess is that in many of the cases, large sums of cash were acquired illegally. He noted that the numbers were significant but until every transaction is fully examined by an investigation it would be hard to tell.

Source: Langley, Ashley “Casino scammer loses in courtNiagara Falls Review, September 14, 2023