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Mastermind sentenced in tribal casino scheme

Phuong Quoc Truong was part of the 'Tran Organization,' a card counting ring that bilked 27 Indian tribal casinos out of millions over eight years.

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A San Diego man was sentenced to 70 months in prison Monday after pleading guilty to participating in a multiyear racketeering plot to defraud 27 Indian tribal casinos of millions of dollars by cheating at cards.

Phuong Quoc Truong was also ordered to forfeit nearly $2.8 million to the US government and pay $5.7 million in restitution to several casinos.

US District Judge John Houston in San Diego also ordered Mr. Truong to give up two houses in San Diego, two properties in Vietnam, a 2001 Porsche Carrera, a Rolex watch, and a diamond-encrusted pendant.

Truong was one of 37 people federal authorities say were involved in a criminal group called the “Tran Organization.” The group, based in San Diego, targeted casinos across the US and in Canada to carry out a sophisticated “false shuffle” scam in blackjack and mini-baccarat games. The ring had been operating since August 2002, Justice Department officials said.

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