Normandie Casino Fined For Violating Reporting Regulations
The Normandie Casino in Gardena, Southern California has been fined $1 million for failing to follow federal regulations for reporting large-scale gambling transactions.
It has been also asked to surrender profits amounting to $1.4 million which it had failed to report to authorities.
The casino operator pled guilty in January 2016 to violating the Bank Secrecy Act by concealing large wins by several high rollers. The casino was accused of failing to record and report numerous cash transactions in 2013 including a $1 million win by a high roller. The Normandie casino has also pleaded guilty for failing to maintain an effective program against money laundering.
The casino was purchased by entertainment and adult mogul Larry Flynt in July 2016 and he went on to rename the casino to Larry Flynt’s Lucky Lady Casino. U.S. federal law requires casinos to maintain a record of identities, Social Security numbers, addresses and tax payer information of all gamblers who cash out winnings of over $10,000.
According to case filings made by the U.S. Treasury, casino employees helped a number of VIP customers to hide their large scale winnings by either breaking it up into smaller transactions or by placing the winnings in the name of gaming promoters rather than actual gamblers. Prosecutors have also accused the casino of failing to scrutinize suspicious transactions, giving room for money laundering activities to take place at the casino.
Federal authorities said that the outcome of the case and the imposed fines established the ability of the government to prevent abuse of the financial system for illegal activity.
In a statement, Anthony J. Orlando, acting special agent in charge for the IRS’ criminal investigations, said,
In partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, [the agency] will continue to protect the United States financial system through the investigation and prosecution of individuals and organizations that attempt to launder their criminally derived proceeds. This sentence demonstrates the government’s ability to enforce the anti-money laundering laws used to ensure that certain high-rollers do not remain below the radar.
Mark Werksman, the attorney representing the casino said that the casino had cooperated with the authorities to resolve the issue and move forward.
U.S. Atty. Eileen M. Decker pointed out that casinos and card rooms such as Larry Flynt’s Lucky Lady Casino were cash-intensive businesses that attracted criminals who were searching for avenues to launder their illegal money. She said that this made it essential for casinos to be vigilant and follow regulations closely.
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