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Mastermind of casino cheating scam sentenced to 70 months in prison

March 15, 2010 |  4:23 pm

The mastermind of a nationwide ring that cheated casinos out of $7 million has been sentenced in San Diego federal court to 70 months in prison, officials said Monday.

Phuong Quoc Truong was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John Houston, who also ordered Truong to forfeit $2.7 million and pay $5.7 million in restitution to the casinos. He was also ordered to forfeit property in San Diego and Vietnam, including real estate and a late-model Porsche.

Truong's organization, centered in San Diego, cheated 27 casinos nationwide -- including in San Diego and Riverside counties -- through a variety of methods, including bribing dealers to provide a "fast shuffle" during blackjack and mini-baccarat games.

Thirty-seven defendants have now pleaded guilty.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego