In August 2013, it was revealed that a student from China had made counterfeit chips that netted both him and a croupier around $26,000.
Zhen Jiang was required to pay $3,000 after pleading guilty to counterfeit charges. He was responsible for producing fake $25 Crown Perth chips. Wei Ricky Si, a former croupier, also pleaded guilty and will face sentencing next month.
The Magistrate Court of Perth uncovered the Chinese student’s plan to deal with his gambling debt after a customs official found more than 2,000 hologram stickers from a casino hidden inside of a package of business cards. They were addressed to a Bassendean massage parlour, but ended up being Si’s address.
A controlled delivery was made to Si by the police and they then searched his property, seizing game chips and the stickers. Si admitted to the business card order but denied that he had any knowledge of the stickers. When Si’s home was being searched, Jiang arrived and was spoken to by the police. His car was searched and they found a box with 1900 counterfeit $25 casino chips inside.
If Jiang and Si would have been successful, Burswood would have lost about $25,900 – and that would have been the gain of the two men. The prosecutor said that this included a high level of sophistication and the men should see jail time as a means to deter others.
Jiang’s lawyer said he came to Perth to study and he developed a gambling addiction after a bad breakup. His game of choice had been baccarat and he borrowed from his family and then loan sharks. His debt grew to around $20,000. His student visa was soon canceled because he stopped attending classes. The lawyer’s plea was that he devised this scheme out of desperation.
Jiang only had to pay $3,000 and he was not sentenced to any jail time. The former croupier has his sentencing in September, where he may have to pay fines or he may spend some time in jail. The prosecutor is once again fighting for jail time as a way to deter others from trying to create counterfeit chips and cheat the system.