TUKWILA, Wash. — The Washington State Gambling Commission said a card room employee took advantage of her position and preyed on people who have gambling problems.
"It's just like, so tragic,” Kevin Jenkins, a Burien resident, said.
According to the Gambling Commission, 45-year-old Anna Bui and her boyfriend were arrested.
She's accused of laundering $1.5 million through the casino.
The commission has received numerous complaints from customers of the Macau Casino over the past two years.
"The employee was charging people 10 to 15 percent interest rates,” Heather Songer, a spokesperson with the Washington State Gambling Commission, said. “Sometimes it was due weekly [and] sometimes it was due monthly. But if you didn't pay, the suspect, her boyfriend and her associates would come looking for you."
Investigators said that female employee charged up to 10 times the maximum interest rates allowed by state law.
The woman and her boyfriend were arrested earlier this month and booked into jail.
"People stealing hard-earned money from people is not OK,” Dana Johnson, a Renton resident, said. “It's never OK."
The gambling license of the casino's general manager was suspended.
Investigators said that manager knew about the money laundering and loansharking but didn't report the activity.
"It's awful, you know, taking advantage of people who already have this sickness instead of helping them,” Aeriel Constantino, a London native who's visiting Seattle, said.
The Gambling Commission said search warrants at the woman's home turned up a luxury vehicle as well as other expensive merchandise. Agents also seized more than $45,000 in cash.
The casino was shut down for several hours during the investigation but is back open Friday night.
Now investigators are looking to make sure no other employees were involved.
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