North Carolina casino used in money laundering scheme

A group wanted to launder funds from a paycheck protection programme loan.
A group wanted to launder funds from a paycheck protection programme loan.

Seven people are accused of trying to launder money through Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino.

US.- Seven people have been charged in North Carolina for allegedly attempting to launder $2.1 million, including $350,000 through Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino.

Those indicted include four people from Georgia and three South Carolina. They are accused of having fraudulently acquired funds from paycheck protection programme loans supposedly for coronavirus relief.

The federal indictment states that two of the suspects went to Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino in October 2018 and changed $200,000 worth of checks for casino chips.

Prosecutors said: “After gambling for less than two hours, [they] cashed out from the casino and left with approximately $198,750 in cash.”

The pair allegedly returned to Harrah’s casino three days later and attempted to cash a check worth $50,000, but rose staff suspicions given the time scale and the casino refused to accept the check under its anti-money laundering protocol.

Speaking to Fox News, Brian Saunooke, a spokesperson from the casino said it operated under “a comprehensive risk-based Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) programme,” which adopts “measures to prevent its casinos from being used for money laundering or other criminal activity.”