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Casino worker accused of loan sharking, laundering $1.5 million

The worker is accused of targeting casino patrons with gambling problems and loaning cash and chips for exorbitant interest rates.
Credit: Michael Blann
(Photo: Thinkstock)

A casino card room employee and her boyfriend were arrested for loan sharking and laundering $1.5 million from a Tukwila casino, the state gambling commission announced Friday.

The general manager of Macau Casino, a 48-year-old Federal Way man, also had his license suspended, because investigators said he knew about illicit activity, but didn’t report it to the gambling commission.

The 45-year-old woman is accused of offering about 100 loans to casino employees and patrons that totaled at least $300,000. The woman allegedly loaned cash and chips at exorbitant interest rates, in some cases up to 10 times the maximum rate allowed in Washington state.

The woman is also accused of targeting people who “clearly had gambling problems” and worked minimum wage jobs, according to the Washington State Gambling Commission.

She and her 27-year-old boyfriend allegedly used fear tactics and threatened patrons to pay back the debts.

Investigators searched the woman’s home and found items they believe she bought with illicit money, including a luxury car, jewelry, and electronics.

The two suspects have been arrested for collection of unlawful debt, money laundering, and use of extortionate means to collect extensions of credit.

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