Lewiston man barred from casinos after cheating at blackjack

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PARIS — A Lewiston man is barred from Maine casinos for a year after admitting he conned Oxford Casino in blackjack games. 

Tony Zhang, 38, agreed to a deal with prosecutors in Oxford County Superior Court on Tuesday morning, pleading guilty to a charge of felony theft. If, after a year, he commits no new crimes and stays out of casinos, he will be allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a $200 fine. 

Zhang, who speaks Mandarin Chinese, spoke through an interpreter. 

Had the case gone to trial, Assistant District Attorney Richard Beauchesne said evidence would have shown that between March 30 and June 12, 2014, Zhang placed illegal bets on hands of blackjack. 

After becoming suspicious of his winnings, casino security reviewed video surveillance, discovering Zhang raised his bet only after the outcome of the hand was known, Beauchesne said. 

After being confronted by Maine State Police, Zhang admitted to his actions but characterized them as a joke between himself and the dealer, Beauchesne said. 

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He was ordered to pay $1,125 in restitution to Oxford Casino. 

ccrosby@sunmediagroup.net

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