Crime Boss Gets 18 Years for Narcotics Conspiracy, Loan Sharking at Oaks Card Club in Emeryville

December 8, 2012
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Reprinted from the Contra Costa Times

By Katie Nelson
Posted:   12/06/2012 03:49:45 PM PST

A Hercules man will spend the next 18 years in prison for his leadership role in a large-scale racketeering and narcotics conspiracy at card clubs in Emeryville and San Bruno.

Cuong Mach Binh Tieu, 42, pleaded guilty June 19 to 10 felony counts, including conspiracy to spearhead a racketeering organization, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and ecstasy and conspiracy to distribute cocaine, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The four-year investigation, conducted by the FBI, the DEA, the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Gambling Control, and the IRS, revealed that Tieu served as a leader for a criminal group that regularly used the cash drawers at both Oaks Card Club in Emeryville and Artichoke Joe’s Casino in San Bruno to finance drug purchases, authorities said.

On June 30, 2009, for example, Tieu used $30,000 from Oaks Card Club to purchase 25 kilograms of ephedrine, which he used to help manufacture methamphetamine and ecstasy.

In addition to drug trafficking, Tieu’s criminal organization worked with casino employees to openly engage in loan-sharking on the floor with both casinos. The loan sharks regularly charged 10 percent interest a week for the loans distributed in the casinos, officials said.

In addition to his 220 months behind bars, Tieu was sentenced to a five-year supervision period once he is released.

Contact Katie Nelson at 925-945-4780 or follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.

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