Lansing woman, employees, sentenced over gambling operation

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

A Lansing woman has been sentenced to seven months in jail for operating an illegal gambling operation, state officials said Tuesday.

Li Deng, 54, was also sentenced to 18 months of probation and a $35,000 fine, said officials with the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

The sentence comes about six weeks after Deng pleaded guilty to running an illegal gambling operation inside a vacant store at the Logan Square shopping center on South Marting Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Lansing.

She also agreed to forfeit $67,754 and equipment used for gambling.

Officials said charges were filed against Deng in October 2017 after an investigation into her illegal gambling operation conducted by the state Attorney General's Office, the State Police and the state's Gaming Control Board.

Investigators were able to verify patrons were wagering on slot-style games. In July 2017, authorities seized 60 gaming terminals and seven so-called "fish" gaming stations, which allow multiple players to gamble at the same time. 

Four of Deng's employees also pleaded guilty to charges connected to the illegal gambling operation and were sentenced along with her.

A judge sentenced Alma Shepard, 37, of Lansing, to one day in jail, 12 months of probation and 96 hours of community service for a misdemeanor charge of keeping a gambling house. 

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.

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Twitter: @CharlesERamirez