Covering Louisiana

May 15, 2014 5:31 AM by AP

NY man pleads guilty in scam to steal from casinos

Federal prosecutors say a 43-year-old Flushing, New York, man has pleaded guilty in a scam to illegally get cash advances from Louisiana casinos.

U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley says Benfen Zhang pleaded guilty Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik to one count of conspiracy to possess more than 15 counterfeit or unauthorized access devices.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Zhang and three Chinese nationals obtained cash advances using unauthorized devices from November 2012 to September 2013 at the Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, L'Auberge Casino in Lake Charles, El Dorado Casino in Shreveport and Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City.

Finley's office said the total amount of loss is estimated at $103,625.

Zhang faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution.

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