Former Mohegan Sun Pocono dealer pleads guilty to cheating casino out of 17k

By Joe Dolinsky - [email protected]

WILKES-BARRE — A former dealer at Mohegan Sun Pocono pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring with players to rig a tile betting game that cheated the Plains Township casino out of more than $17,000.

Dustin Raynor Laird, 30, pleaded guilty in Luzerne County Court to a felony charge of criminal conspiracy after gaming enforcement officials observed him on two separate occasions in 2014 rig multiple outcomes while dealing hands of Pai Gow, a Chinese betting game played with a set of 32 dominoes.

One felony count of theft and one misdemeanor count of tricking to win or reduce loss was withdrawn, according to court records.

A Mohegan Sun Pocono spokesperson on Tuesday confirmed Laird, of North Washington St., Wilkes-Barre, was no longer an employee.

According to the criminal complaint, Laird was observed cheating seven times on March 20 and March 30, 2014, during an investigation into his activities as a casino employee.

State police working in the casino’s gaming enforcement office witnessed Laird give himself losing hands and pay off the winners, which totalled $17,710 in losses to the casino.

Police said a male, later identified as Chung Van Lam, had allegedly approached Laird in a casino bathroom and coached him on how to cheat the game. Van Lam and a female, Jessica Hahn Nguyen, allegedly paid Laird $200 to $300 for the scheme, the complaint says.

Judge Joseph F. Sklarosky Jr. prohibited Laird from contact with Mohegan Sun Pocono and ordered him to repay the $17,710.

Laird’s sentencing is scheduled for March 28.

By Joe Dolinsky

[email protected]

Reach Joe Dolinsky at 570-991-6110 or on Twitter @JoeDolinskyTL

Reach Joe Dolinsky at 570-991-6110 or on Twitter @JoeDolinskyTL