Massachusetts woman charged with loan sharking charges at casino

Posted: April 17, 2022, 8:39 a.m.

Last update: April 17, 2022, 8:39 a.m.

A 50-year-old Massachusetts woman is facing criminal usury charges — better known as loan sharking — for her alleged criminal operation that authorities say she carried out inside Boston’s Encore Harbor.

Massachusetts woman casino Encore Boston loan shark
The Encore Boston Harbor casino floor is seen in June 2019. A Massachusetts woman is facing four usury charges for her alleged role in a loan scheme that law enforcement said targeted problem gamblers in the owned by Wynn Resorts. (Picture: WGBH)

Attorney General Maura Healey’s office alleges that Kimanh Le, of Quincy, has been charged with four charges of criminal usury in connection with her April 10, 2022 arrest at the Wynn Resorts casino. A state grand jury indicted her on the charges on March 31.

Healey’s office alleges that Le provided usurious loans to players in the form of cash and gaming chips at excessively high interest rates. State authorities say she charged an interest rate of 5% per day or 10% per week. Massachusetts usury laws cap loan interest rates at 20% per annum.

Le pleaded not guilty before Judge Michael Doolin of Suffolk Superior Court last week and was released on her own recognizance. However, Doolin ordered Le to surrender his passport, stay in the Commonwealth, and stay away from the three state-licensed casinos.

Tackling the Vulnerable

Although the state’s attorney general said Le was presumed innocent until proven guilty, law enforcement alleges Quincy’s wife routinely preyed on problem gamblers at the integrated casino resort. glitzy from Wynn. The indictment alleges that Le targeted those who struggled to finance their gambling habits who, for whatever reason, “didn’t want to seek credit from legal sources.”

The indictment was the culmination of an investigation by the Massachusetts State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit and AG’s Gaming Enforcement Division, with assistance from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and Encore Boston Harbor.

According to the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, a Boston-based criminal defense attorney, a conviction for criminal usury is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. dollars. The is due to hold a pre-trial conference at Suffolk Superior Court on June 24.

Last month was Encore Boston Harbor’s best month ever. The casino brought in a GGR of almost $65 million.

The state recently passed the $1 billion mark in gaming taxes received from its three land-based casinos. The Commonwealth receives 25% of net gaming revenue generated by Encore and MGM Springfield, and 49% of slots from the Plainridge Park slot facility.

Out of bounds for creditors

Massachusetts legalized commercial casino gambling through its Expanded Gaming Act of 2011. While Massachusetts law allows loans with interest rates above 20% – but only if the lender notifies the bureau from the State Attorney General of the contractual arrangement and receives approval – gambling halls are protected from lenders looking for lenders.

Each of the three casinos can issue gaming credit to customers. But apart from actual gambling operators granting credit to players, casinos are supposed to be free from financial loans.

No Gaming Establishment, nor any person acting on behalf of the Gaming Establishment, shall cash a check, make a loan or otherwise provide or allow anyone a credit or advance of anything of value,” states the expanded gaming act 2011.

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