A husband and wife have been charged with allegedly conspiring to steal approximately $4 million from Parkwest Casino 580 in Livermore in a baccarat scheme, state prosecutors announced on Monday.
Eric Dat Nguyen and Khan "Tina" Tran each face two felony counts of grand theft and eight felony counts of conspiracy to commit grand theft, plus special allegations -- as to all counts -- of an aggravated white collar crime enhancement in excess of $500,000.
Nguyen, 38, and Tran, 32, were arrested in Texas in May on felony warrants out of California.
"My office stands ready to fight back against those who try to get rich quick by breaking the law," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. "Mr. Nguyen and Ms. Tran now face serious criminal charges for their actions. The California Department of Justice will do its part to tackle criminal activity in our state."
The criminal complaint alleges the couple conspired to cheat at EZ Baccarat with Panda 8 Rules during 2015 and 2016 while Tran worked as a card dealer and Nguyen gambled at the casino on North Canyons Parkway in Livermore. Nguyen previously worked at the casino.
Prosecutors allege the scheme saw Tran peek at the sequence of cards after shuffling and then convey the sequence to Nguyen, who would then place significant wagers when he recognized the sequence of cards relayed by his wife.
Casino officials first became suspicious of Nguyen's "gambling habits and winning statistics" in April 2016 and ultimately notified the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Gambling Control about the crime in June 2016, according to the criminal complaint.
A state investigation ultimately resulted in 10 felony counts each, plus the special allegations, being charged against the couple in a criminal complaint filed in March in Alameda County Superior Court.
Nguyen and Tran were taken into custody pursuit to California arrest warrants on May 6 in Texas by the Harris County Constable's Office, Major Offenders Unit, according to prosecutors.