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5 indicted in separate cheating, assault cases at Encore casino

The Encore casino
The Encore casinoJessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

A Middlesex County grand jury on Friday handed up indictments against an Encore Boston Harbor card dealer and two other people in connection with an alleged scam to pilfer $23,500 over two nights by cheating at the game of baccarat, state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office said.

In a statement, Healey’s office identified the Encore dealer as Jianming Li, 53, of Delaware, and Li’s two co-defendants as Jun Zhang, 41, of New York, and De Lin, 46, of Philadelphia. Online state court records didn’t list attorneys for any of the defendants.

Healey’s office said Li, the Encore dealer, allegedly colluded with Zhang, a former Maryland casino dealer, and Lin in the scheme.

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“It is alleged that while he was dealing the cards, Li exposed a series of playing cards, memorized them, marked them with a ‘bookmark’ card, then used his cell phone to communicate the cards and their order to Zhang, when both excused themselves to use separate bathrooms,” the statement said.

Encore representatives didn’t immediately return e-mails seeking comment Friday afternoon.

Healey’s office said Li and Zhang were both indicted on two counts each of cheating under the Gaming Act, two counts each of conspiracy, and one count each of larceny by a single scheme. Li, the statement said, was also indicted on a charge of making false statements to the Gaming Commission.

Prosecutors said Lin was indicted on charges of cheating under the Gaming Act and conspiracy.

“All of the defendants will be arraigned on the charges in Middlesex Superior Court at a later date,” the statement said.

In a separate case, Healey’s office said, a grand jury on Friday indicted David Guante, 30, of Natick, and James Johnson, 30, of Framingham, for their alleged roles in an assault on another Encore patron in August.

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Guante, the statement said, was indicted on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, while Johnson was charged with assault and battery. They’ll be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court at a later date.

Guante and Johnson, the statement said, allegedly “became involved in a dispute with another casino patron by the casino cashier,” resulting in Johnson allegedly striking the third man in the face, while Guante allegedly stabbed the victim in the abdomen after a fight ensued.

Court records didn’t list an attorney for Johnson Friday. A lawyer for Guante told the Globe shortly after her client’s arrest in August that the materials she had reviewed indicated that Guante “is not guilty of any crime.”

State Police said at the time of the alleged stabbing that the victim, a 24-year-old Lynn man, was “conscious and alert and was able to provide responding Troopers a description of his assailant,” and that he “sustained a puncture wound believed to be minor and was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital.”


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.