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Five Lansing residents sentenced to jail, fines for illegal gambling at Logan Square store

Detroit, July 31, 2018 – A 54-year-old Lansing woman was sentenced July 25 in Ingham County Circuit Court to seven months in the Ingham County Jail, 18 months of probation and a $35,000 fine for conducting an illegal gambling operation in Lansing while her four former employees each will serve a day in jail for related misdemeanor illegal gambling offenses.

Business owner Li Deng pled guilty in June to a felony for conducting a gambling operation inside a vacant store at the Logan Square shopping center, 3222 South Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Lansing. Deng earlier agreed to forfeit $67,754 and equipment used for gambling and will pay more than $4,000 in fines and fees. Charges were filed against Deng and four employees in October 2017 following an investigation of the illegal operation by the Michigan Attorney General’s office, Michigan State Police Gaming Section and the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Employee Alma Shepard, 37, was sentenced to a day in jail, 12 months of probation and 96 hours of community service on a misdemeanor charge of keeping a gambling house – permitting for gain. Krista Albers, 59, was sentenced to a day in jail, six months of probation and 96 hours of community service for keeping a gambling house. Two other employees, Cynthia Snyder, 34, and Angel Chocalas, 23, were sentenced to one day in jail each for attempted keeping a gambling house – permitting for gain.

“We encourage the public to report possible illegal activity to police authorities or the Gaming Control Board to help us identify and eliminate the dangers associated with unregulated and illegal gaming activities,” said Richard Kalm, executive director, Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Investigators visited the business multiple times last year and verified allegations of patrons wagering on slot-style games inside the location. In July 2017, approximately 60 gaming terminals were seized when a search warrant was executed at the location. In addition, investigators seized seven so-called “fish” gaming stations, which allow multiple patrons to gamble at the same time.

Michigan citizens are encouraged to report any suspicious or illegal gambling by calling the MGCB’s 24-hour anonymous tip line, 888-314-2682.

"The Michigan Gaming Control Board shall ensure the conduct of fair and honest gaming to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan."