Texas man gets 37 months for role in roulette cheating ring

By Special to the American Press

A Texas man was sentenced last month to 37 months in federal prison for his role in trying to defraud L’Auberge Casino Resort,

officials said.

Charbel Tannous, 34, of Katy, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi. He was also ordered to serve three

years’ supervised release and pay $909,700 in restitution.

Officials said Tannous, Constandi Lubbat, 55, of Houston, Derrick Weldon, 44, of Lake Charles, and Stephen Mouton, 45, of

Iowa, La., were all charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

In addition, Tannous, who officials said created the fraud scheme, was charged with seven separate counts of wire fraud.

The scheme involved rigging roulette games by bribing Weldon and Mouton, who were dealers at the casino. They permitted Tannous

and Lubbat to place late bets at the roulette wheel. This practice, known as “past posting,” allowed Tannous and Lubbat to

place chips on the number knowing it was already a winner.

Tannous forfeited about $50,000. FBI

agents reportedly seized $10,000 in cash and almost $40,000 in cashiers’

checks when

they arrested Tannous at Bush International Airport in Houston. He

was trying to flee the U.S. en route to Beirut, Lebanon,

officials said.

There is no extradition agreement between the United States and Lebanon.