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First cases of casino chip theft crimes surface in Maryland

Investigators in Maryland say they are investigating a couple from northern Virginia in connection with the alleged use of counterfeit gambling chips at a casino. The couple, accused of using the counterfeit chips at the Maryland Live! Casino, are facing theft charges for their alleged role in the scheme. The woman is accused of theft between $1,000 and $10,000, along with a conspiracy charge. The man is accuse of conspiracy to commit theft and committing a theft scheme.

The pair may have attempted to take a play out of the "Ocean's Eleven" movie, but this scheme was slightly less complicated than the famous casino heist plot. Authorities report that the 36-year-old woman reportedly purchased $150,000 in counterfeit chips online for just $12,000. The woman and her 37-year-old husband are accused of using some of the chips at the casino, but they dumped others in the lake near their Virginia home. Several of the chips floated and were trapped in the ice, according to investigators.

Federal authorities are continuing their inquiry into the matter. Maryland state officials say this is one of the first cases of casino chip fraud to have been identified in the state. In another recent incident, a couple is accused of theft crimes after modifying $1 chips from a West Virginia casino to look like $100 chips. That couple also attempted to pass the chips off at the Maryland Live! Casino. Casino representatives say they are troubleshooting their security system so such violations can be more easily tracked.

Criminal defendants who are facing theft charges and allegations for other property crimes may benefit from the assistance of a Maryland criminal defense attorney. These professionals may be able to help those facing casino theft crimes by educating them about their legal options. Maryland attorneys may be an important ally and advocate for defendants, helping them protect their courtroom rights.

Source: CBS Baltimore, "Police Probe Counterfeit Poker Chip Scheme At Maryland Live! Casino" Mike Hellgren, Feb. 25, 2014

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