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Mayfield Pleads Guilty in Baccarat Cheating Scam at Nooksack Casino
An ex-dealer from the Nooksack River Casino pleaded guilty to charges of one count of conspiracy from his participation in an alleged cheating ring that cost the casino more than $90,000 dollars.
In a plea agreement approved by the court, 24 year-old Levi Mayfield pleaded guilty of cheating card shufflers that allowed two of his co-suspects, George Lee and Tien Duc Vu to repeatedly cheat at the mini-baccarat game back in October 2005.
Mayfield also admitted that he was recruited to participate in the cheating scheme conducted by Jacob Nickels, the son of Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. Nickels worked as a pit boss at a casino facility in Deming, Whatcom County from October 2003 until October 2006.
It is still not clear what affect Mayfield's plea bargain will have on the case of Jacob Nickels. Atty. Jeffrey Robinson, Nickel's Attorney, has no comment on the case at the moment.
Nickels has pleaded not guilty in June to one count of conspiracy and four counts of theft of money from a gaming facility on Indian reservations.
Mayfield and Nickels were among the dozen suspects that were arrested and subsequently indicted by the federal grand juries in Seattle and San Diego last May 2007.
The two suspects were allegedly involved in cheating rings that utilize bribes, electronic transmitters and card counters to embezzle casino facilities in Washington, California, Nevada, Connecticut, Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana and Canada of more than $3 million.
Prosecutors said that by not correctly shuffling the cards, the dealers fixed the games so that their co-conspirators will know which cards will be given next, allowing them to win huge amounts of cash in mini-baccarat and blackjack.
Prosecutors also said that Lee and Vu contacted Nickels in August 2005 and pleaded with him to introduce them to casino dealers that are interested in participating in a cheating ring with them.
Nickels then recruited Mayfield and another dealer, Kasey McKillip to join the cheating ring. Nickels allegedly accepted $5,000 dollars from Lee for introducing them to the two dealers.
A lawyer for McKillip petitioned the court last week to postpone the trial to September 14th, 2007 from August 13th, 2007 to give them more time to review all the evidence in the case. Atty. Jeffrey Robinson said that they will file a petition for the continuance of the case.
Monday, September 10, 2007