Federal Jury Returns Guilty Verdicts in Gambling and Money Laundering Case
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 03, 2013|
United States Attorney Alicia A.G. Limtiaco, U.S. Attorney for the Districts of Guamand the Northern Mariana Islands (NMI), announced today that a federal jury in the District of Guam returned a verdict finding defendants William M. Perez and Jennie Wen Chin Pau guilty, as follows:
- Defendant William M. Perez: count 1—conspiracy to commit illegal gambling; count 2—illegal gambling business; counts 18-38—money laundering
- Defendant Jennie Wen Chin Pau: count 1—conspiracy to commit illegal gambling; count 2—illegal gambling business; counts 18-38—money laundering; counts 40-44—structuring
The jury found the defendants not guilty as to money laundering charges in counts 3-17. Defendants Perez and Pau will be sentenced by the Hon. Frances Tydingco-Gatewood, Chief Judge, on March 28, 2014, at 10:00 a.m.
Two co-defendants, Jimmy Hsieh and Pauline Perez, pleaded guilty before trial and are awaiting sentencing. Co-defendant Wai Kam Ho remains charged, with a trial anticipated in early 2014.
The evidence at trial showed that from at least January 2006 until December 14, 2010, defendants Perez and Pau conspired with other individuals to conduct an illegal gambling business in a manner which violated the laws of the Territory of Guam. The defendants offered card games of chance, including baccarat and poker, at the MGM Spa building approximately five times a week. The games violated Guam law in that the defendants, as the “house,” took a percentage of the winnings from each poker game and also charged $5 per $100 of bets for food and drink.
The evidence at trial also showed that defendants Perez and Pau committed money laundering by knowingly conducting financial transactions affecting interstate commerce, which transactions involved the proceeds of a specified unlawful activity, namely conducting an illegal gambling business.
The evidence at trial further showed that defendant Pau, knowingly and for the purpose of evading reporting requirements, structured transactions with domestic financial institutions, in violation of federal law.
U.S. Attorney Limtiaco stated, “The defendants participated in illegal gambling and laundered illegal gambling proceeds. The convictions demonstrate the commitment of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice, to hold accountable those involved in facilitating illegal gambling businesses.” U.S. Attorney Limtiaco further stated, “This case involved the collaborative investigative efforts, skills and resources of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Unit [IRS-CI], the Federal Bureau of Investigations [FBI], and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service [NCIS]. We thank our law enforcement agencies for their diligent work in the investigation and prosecution of this illegal gambling operation. ”
The conspiracy, illegal gambling, and structuring counts each carries a maximum prison term of five years. Each count of money laundering carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.
This case was investigated by special agents from the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Unit (IRS-CI), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Assistant United States Attorney Karon V. Johnson prosecuted the case.