Posted on: April 20, 2022, 03:07h.
Last update on: April 20, 2022, 03:33h.
A loan shark at Boston’s Encore port was targeting clueless gamblers who were unlucky and chasing losses, law enforcement said.
Kimanh Le, 50, of Quincy, Ma., was arrested April 10 at the integrated casino resort just outside Boston, across the Mystic River from Everett. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office alleges that Le was being watched by Encore Boston security engaging in illegal loan services to players on the casino floor.
A state grand jury indicted Le on four counts of criminal usury — more commonly known as loan sharking. The practice is to lend money or valuables – in this case, casino gambling chips – at high interest rates.
According to court filings that were only recently made public, prosecutors allege Le chased players who lost heavily and appeared upset. The lawsuit documents claim that Le would approach these Encore Boston Harbor customers and offer them cash or gambling chips with interest rates of up to 5% daily and 10% weekly.
Le pleaded not guilty and remains free of his own recognizance. However, she is banned from all three commercial casinos in the state as her case unfolds and is not to leave the Commonwealth.
Massachusetts law limits loan services at the three state-licensed casino floors to actual casinos. No other company or person is legally authorized to offer credits or loans on the properties.
The would not have complied with these conditions. Police and Wynn Resorts security said his activities in the casino were quickly discovered.
On several occasions, investigators observed Kimanh Le taking money from a large packet inside her purse and handing it directly to other customers, who then immediately used the money to register. at one of the high limit tables”, prosecutors alleged in court filings.
A person who took a loan from Le – identified in court documents as a ‘Cooperating Source (CS)’, said they offered 5% interest on loans under $10,000. But if the person does not repay the loan and the 5% interest within 24 hours, the interest increases to 10%.
CS admitted to accepting nine loans with Le totaling approximately $78,000. Even though individuals were allowed to make loans to gamblers at casinos, Massachusetts loan laws limit interest rates to 20% per annum, which is far lower than Le offered.
“Kimanh Le acts as an underground financial institution, maintaining an active player loan clientele, largely made up of individuals from the Asian American community,” prosecutors added in their complaint.
Constant police presence
Massachusetts legalized commercial gambling in 2011. The casino bill included a provision that state police have a 24/7 presence at all Commonwealth casinos.
Still Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park must have members of the Massachusetts State Police on site at all times. The agents are part of the Massachusetts Gaming Enforcement Unit (GEU).
“The GEU has a 24/7 presence at all three casinos and has regulatory and criminal responsibilities,” read a statement from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.