Gambler Pleads Guilty to Scamming Star Sydney out of Almost $500,000

hands holding casino chips on top of cards
Photo by Keenan Constance

A man who scammed Sydney’s Star Casino out of about $500,000 has appeared in court.

The Daily Telegraph reports that 36-year-old Hieu Duc Lam did his work at the baccarat table where he stole sums ranging from $10,000 to $44,000 from the casino on 15 occasions.

The corrupt behaviour took place between August and September 2020 before he was arrested in his southwest Sydney home following an investigation by the NSW Police’s Organised Crime Squad’s Casino and Racing Investigation Unit.

Electronic storage devices, $270,000 cash and US$2000 were seized from the address.

A second man was arrested in the casino car park at the same time as a result of the police investigation.

Mr Lam was set to be sentenced last Wednesday, however, a five-month adjournment was granted on the request of the police prosecutor.

He pleaded guilty to 15 counts of dishonesty to get a financial advantage or cause disadvantage by deception last year, with each charge carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years jail if prosecuted.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 28.

Gambler fleeced lovers out of cash to spend at Crown Casino is jailed

A woman has shown no remorse as she was jailed for fleecing $800,000 from businessmen to bankroll her casino trips.

The Herald Sun reported in September that Jocelyn Zakhour blew $24 million in just three years at the casino, including the $800,000 she took from businessmen she met on Tinder.

Ms Zakhour turned over $24 million at Crown between 2016 and 2018, said her high-roller lifestyle and the special treatment she received gave her a sense “of power and control”.

Judge Gregory Lyon said Ms Zakhour “callously and ruthlessly” attracted her victims with the “ruse of a romantic relationship.”

Judge Lyon said Ms Zakhour’s victim suffered a stroke after the offending.

Ms Zakhour, who worked at a soup kitchen following her downfall and a hospital café, submitted Crown Casino “fuelled” her gambling addiction.

She was jailed for a maximum of four years and six months.

Sentenced at the County Count last Tuesday to a minimum two years’ and eight months’ jail after pleading guilty to multiple fraud, blackmail and extortion charges, the former Mahogany Room Ultra-Black member was living at the casino when she targeted her two victims via Tinder in early to mid-2018.

The sly seductress told both men she needed cash to invest in a blueberry and illegal tobacco farm in NSW.

Ms Zakhour promised her first victim, a company chief executive, a “300 per cent return” if he pumped cash into the non-existent business.

The victim transferred $728,700 to Ms Zakhour via multiple transactions between June and November 2018.

Ms Zakhour rinsed her victim with a series of lies including a tale about how a truckload of illegal cigarettes had been intercepted by police.

In late-2018, Ms Zakhour sent the victim 240 emails which contained threats towards the man’s ex-wife, his children and his mother.

The victim reported Ms Zakhour to police in November 2018.

Detectives arranged for the victim to meet Ms Zakhour at Milano’s Tavern in Brighton, where they pounced and arrested her.

She told police she had planned to marry her victim in January and admitted to making up stories because the victim kept giving her money, the court head.

She admitted losing all the stolen cash playing Baccarat and pokies at the casino and told the police it was “all about the casino”, believing she could “win and pay the money back.”

William Brown

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