Encore Boston Harbor Cheating Scheme, Separate Casino Assault Led to Five Indictments

Posted on: March 6, 2021, 11:31h. 

Last updated on: March 6, 2021, 05:47h.

An Encore Boston Harbor card dealer and two other men allegedly cheated in a series of Baccarat games resulting in indictments this week. The plot raised $23,500 in illicit winnings for the trio over two nights at the Everett, Mass. gaming property, police claim.

Victim stabbed in abdomen at Encore in separate incident
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey shown here. She announced five indictments this week involving the Encore Boston Harbor. (Image: Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group via Boston Herald)

Under the scheme, both the one-time Encore dealer, Jianming Li, 53, of Delaware, and Jun Zhang, 41, of New York, a former Maryland casino dealer, were indicted by a Middlesex County grand jury.

Li allegedly dealt exposed cards, memorized them, marked them with a bookmark card, and used a cell phone to let Zhang know which cards were involved and their order, according to a statement from Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

As part of the plot, the two men went to separate restrooms, where they allegedly took part in the scheme.

Charges on each include two counts of cheating under the gaming act and conspiracy. There was also a single charge on both suspects of larceny by a single scheme.

Also, Li was charged with making false statements to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

The third suspect, De Lin, 46, of Philadelphia, was indicted for cheating under the gaming act and conspiracy.

Details on the date of the incident were not released by state officials. If found guilty of cheating under the gaming act, a suspect faces five years in prison and a payment of a fine.

Victim Stabbed in Abdomen at Encore

Separately, two suspects were also indicted this week for an assault of a third man at the casino. David Guante of Natick and James Johnson of Framingham were both indicted for assault and battery. Each is 30 years old.

They got into a dispute with a third person near the casino cashier. Johnson allegedly struck the victim in the face. Guante and the third person also got into a fight. Guante allegedly stabbed the victim once in the abdomen.

The cases against the two suspects will be heard in Middlesex Superior Court at a later date. If convicted on assault and battery, a defendant faces up to two years imprisonment and the payment of a fine.

Earlier Criminal Charges at Encore

These cases follow last month’s unrelated indictment of Matthew Gorman, 32, of New Hampshire for attempted sale of methamphetamine (meth) on the Encore Boston Harbor casino floor.

Gorman was indicted by a Middlesex County grand jury on five counts of possession of a large-capacity firearm, two counts of possession of a loaded firearm, and one count of possession with intent to distribute a Class B Substance.

When he was apprehended, officers said they found two semi-automatic pistols and three large-capacity magazines in his possession.

If convicted on the drug charge, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The penalty for someone found guilty of being in possession of a large-capacity firearm is at least five years in prison.

In addition, the thousands of daily visitors entering the Encore during initial months led to more crime for Massachusetts from when the gaming venue opened in June to November 2019. Over 160 people reportedly were arrested or given a summons in the five-month period.

The crime data was reported by WCVB, a local TV station. Disorderly conduct, assault and battery, larceny, and cheating were among the most common charges at Encore during its initial months of operation, the report said.

Arguments, fights, and motor vehicle accidents were among the most frequent types of incidents which needed a police response, the report on the initial months of casino operations adds.

In still another unrelated case, one Massachusetts state trooper suffered a concussion and two other officers were injured during two separate arrests of violent guests at Encore in February 2020, news reports said.