A Macau court has jailed former Tak Chun junket supremo Levo Chan for 14 years over illegal gambling, fraud, money laundering and organised crime activity.
The Court of First Instance on Friday (April 21) found Chan, 51, guilty on 34 of 83 counts of illegal conduct during his time as the Tak Chun boss while sentencing four of Chan’s associates to between seven and 11 years in prison on related charges.
Judge Lam Peng Fai ruled that Chan was the head of a criminal organisation that generated HK$1.5bn ($191m) in illegal side betting and telephone betting revenue in Tak Chun VIP rooms between 2014 and 2020, denying some HK$575m in gambling taxes to the government and some HK$135m to casino operators.
Lam found Chan guilty of one count of organised crime activity, 24 counts of illegal gambling in a licensed location, one additional count of illegal gambling, seven counts of fraud and one count of aggravated money laundering.
Lam ordered Chan to compensate five of Macau’s six casino concessionaires, without detailing the amounts.
The court jailed four other defendants, including Tak Chun senior vice president Cherie Wong for ten years, Chan’s private secretary Betty Cheong for ten years, marketing official and securities dealer Wayne Lio for 11 years and Chan’s personal accountant and Tak Chun operative Edward Lee to seven years.
Another four defendants were acquitted.
All of the guilty verdicts can be appealed, but it was not immediately clear how many, if any, of the defendants will do so.
Levo Chan had been attempting to diversify his interests in the years before his prosecution, taking a leading stake and day-to-day control of casino operator and Macau Fisherman's Wharf owner Macau Legend Development.
But he was arrested in January 2022, two months after Macau’s most powerful junket boss, Suncity supremo Alvin Chau, was arrested for similar offences.
Chan had been implicated in the prosecution of Chau, who was jailed for 18 years in January, along with eight of his colleagues, bringing an end to his Suncity gaming empire.
The downfall of Macau’s two most powerful, flamboyant and politically connected junket bosses signalled both the death of junket domination of Macau’s gambling industry and the collapse of the junket mogul as an industry driving force.
The cases against both men are also notable for following indictments in mainland China.