- Attorney General Anne Milgram announced
that four men were indicted today on charges
they attempted to steal tens of thousands
of dollars by plotting to use surveillance
equipment and computers to cheat a high-roller
in private games of Chinese poker, backgammon
and chess at the Borgata Hotel Casino &
Spa in Atlantic City.
Division of Criminal Justice obtained an
indictment charging the following defendants
with second-degree attempted theft by deception:
Joseph Ingargiola, 51,
of Las Vegas, Nevada;
James Harrison, 42, of
Phillips, 53, of Las Vegas; and
Forte, 52, of Las Vegas.
crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years
in state prison and a $150,000 fine.
charges are the result of an investigation
by detectives from the New Jersey State
Police Organized Crime Control Bureau Casino
Unit assigned to the Division of Gaming
Atlantic County grand jury indictment alleges
that the four defendants plotted to cheat
a man, identified in the indictment only
as “J.H.,” who was invited to
participate on June 7, 2007 in a tournament
involving high-stakes games of Chinese poker,
backgammon and chess in a hotel room at
the Borgata. The four men allegedly had
rigged the hotel room and a nearby room
with hidden surveillance cameras, audio
equipment, computers and other high-tech
devices that would be used to cheat the
victim out of more than $75,000, according
to the indictment.
defendants allegedly intended to use the
equipment to secretly monitor the games
from the second room. The victim was to
play an opponent who was part of the alleged
scheme. The defendants allegedly planned
to use marked playing cards for the Chinese
poker so they could identify the victim’s
cards and transmit instructions to the opposing
player, who would be wearing a concealed
earpiece. They also allegedly intended to
use the equipment to monitor the games of
backgammon and chess, so that computer programs
could be used to calculate the countermoves
that offered the best odds of winning.
the afternoon of June 7, 2007, shortly before
the victim was to arrive, the State Police
executed a search warrant for the two hotel
rooms, arresting the four defendants and
seizing the equipment described in the indictment.
Each of the defendants was later released
case was presented to the Atlantic County
grand jury by Deputy Attorney General Kerry
DiJoseph of the Division of Criminal Justice
Major Crimes Bureau - Casino Prosecution
Unit. It was investigated by Detective Sgt.
David A. Smith and Detective Gregg M. Ogden
of the State Police Organized Crime Control
Bureau Casino Unit, assisted by Sgt. Ronald
Rozwadowski of the Division of Criminal
Justice Casino Prosecution Unit.
indictment was handed up in Superior Court
in Atlantic County, where the defendants
will be ordered to appear at a later date
for arraignment on the charges.
indictment is merely an accusation and the
defendants are presumed innocent until proven