Bell Gardens casino settles money laundering case for $500,000

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Federal authorities execute warrants as part of a criminal investigation at The Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Bell Gardens in in undated photo. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

Federal authorities execute warrants as part of a criminal investigation at The Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Bell Gardens in in undated photo. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles-area casino will pay $500,000 to settle allegations that it violated anti-money laundering laws by failing to properly file reports about a Chinese player who spent millions in cash, authorities announced Friday.

The Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Bell Gardens agreed to pay the revenue it made from the player’s gambling and to accept beefed-up review and reporting requirements, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

In return, prosecutors won’t bring any criminal case against the casino for alleged violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires reporting of high-value or suspicious currency transactions in order to prevent criminals from laundering illicit proceeds.

The U.S. attorney’s office says the casino accepted responsibility and cooperated with authorities during the investigation.

Under the agreement signed last month, Bicycle acknowledged that it failed to properly file reports about a “high roller” Chinese national who gambled at the casino about 100 times over an eight-month period in 2016.

The man played high-limit baccarat in a VIP room “with huge sums of cash that on some occasions he transported to and from the casino in duffle bags,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

The player once gambled with about $2 million during a marathon session that lasted more than 10 hours, and he used an assistant to conduct over $100 million in transactions, authorities said.

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