(03-03) 16:34 PST EMERYVILLE -- Employees and associates dealt drugs and engaged in racketeering and loan-sharking at the two Bay Area casinos that were raided this week by law enforcement officials, authorities said today.
Loan sharks at the Oaks Card Club in Emeryville and Artichoke Joe's in San Bruno threatened to harm borrowers who failed to repay loans with 10 percent interest per week, according to a 60-page indictment unsealed today.
On Wednesday, federal, state and local law enforcement officials arrested 14 people and raided both casinos. One suspect remains at large. While serving 20 search warrants, agents seized several hundred thousand dollars in cash, thousands of dollars worth of gambling chips, jewelry, drugs and guns, investigators said.
For at least the last two years, the defendants "commingled illegal profits from loan-sharking and drug dealing with the legitimate casino funds" found in cashier areas located in the Asian gaming sections of the casinos, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
"A loan obtained at one casino could be paid back at the other. The loan sharks used threats and their reputation for violence to ensure repayment of the loans," the indictment said.
Some of the defendants dealt methamphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy and face mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison if convicted, authorities said.
At the center of the alleged criminal enterprise at the Oaks Card Club is Lap The Chung, manager of the Asian gaming section, and Bob Yuen, who was not a casino employee but helped direct the criminal activity, prosecutors said.
Chung and Yuen engaged in loan-sharking and drug dealing, while May Chung, a casino chip runner and Lap The Chung's sister, and Chea Bou, a card dealer, provided gambling chips for the illegal loans, the indictment said.
Across the bay at Artichoke Joe's, Ding Lin and Hung Tieu engaged in loan-sharking, and Tieu's brother, Cuong Mach Binh Tieu, dealt drugs at both casinos, authorities said.