In British Columbia, casinos have become infamous. Not for offering remarkably hot gambling experience or great shows, but because a lot of them were identified as being associated with major money-laundering scams over the last several years, either actively or passively. In some instances, not only was the activity and alcohol flowing freely, but there are reports even now that no one could completely put a lid on it.  The most effective type of casino money laundering has become termed as the Vancouver model, named after the province’s largest city, and terminology the province would not like to see. Now the U.S. has successfully sued the first two folks in the country who employed the Vancouver model for their money-laundering plots in Las Vegas casinos.

As reported by, the Vancouver model, a name originally credited to Professor John Langdale of Macquarie University in Australia, indicates a way in which crooks can gain from both ends of the money laundering plot.  It allows Chinese high rollers intending to move money from China to someplace outside the country, with the enablers easing the activity with Chinese banks eager to bend the rules and getting a commission from the activity. Then the lender also takes a commission to clean the money and offer it to the client.

That seems to be what Bing Han and Lei Zhang had been involved in for an indefinite amount of time around Sin City. In Canada’s casinos, the Vancouver model was the most dominant form of money laundering, and Han and Zhang replicated it in the U.S. before being caught.  They were arrested and charged in federal court with running an unlicensed money transmittal business, using just a smartphone with access to a Chinese bank account to speed up the transfers.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, which filed the case, made a plea agreement with the two naughty entrepreneurs so everyone could prevent a lengthy trial and, as an outcome, the duo could get five years imprisonment.  The office indicates that this is most possibly the first time that someone in the U.S. has been imprisoned for enabling illegal money transfers between the U.S. and China in an attempt to dodge financial regulations, with a legal limit of $50,000 placed on outbound transfers arriving from China.  Han and Zhang had supposedly facilitated transfers into the multimillion-dollar range.

Some casino hosts even, were supposedly involved, assisting to facilitate the delivery of funds in the casinos for a commission of the fee paid to the cheats. It is not known if any specific casino employee has been prosecuted yet for alleged participation.