Probation will likely wash ex-casino worker's record - Sunday 12th of June 2005

A former marketing executive at Mohegan Sun, who was charged with running an illegal gambling operation in the basement of her home, is likely to have a clean record in a month.

LeLe Lam, of 122 Richard Brown Road in Uncasville, was granted accelerated rehabilitation June 24 by a Norwich Superior Court judge, court records show.

Accelerated rehabilitation is a special program available only to those without a past conviction and who are not charged with a felony.

Her charges may be dismissed if she successfully completes a 30-day probationary period, according to state law.

Lam, 34, the former vice president of Asian marketing at Mohegan Sun, must avoid any criminal violations and make a charitable contribution of $2,500 to a criminal injury fund during her probation, court records show.

She had faced up to two years of special probation.

Lam was arrested in January on charges of professional gambling and maintaining a gambling premise.

Her arrest came after an investigation by an undercover informant for the FBI who used hidden video and audio surveillance during a game of Pai Gow in Lam's Uncasville basement in November.

Pai Gow is a popular Chinese gambling game played with 32 dominoes, called tiles, and involving a dealer and up to seven participants per hand.

State police and members of the Statewide Organized Crime Investigative Taskforce claimed Lam was hosting the game and earned a profit. The game took place during a birthday party for a co-worker.

Lam was stripped of her gaming license and suspended from her job after her arrest.

Among other participants in the game of Pai Gow was Yee Leung, 48, of New Jersey, court documents show. Leung was charged with professional gambling and was also granted accelerated rehabilitation Friday.

Terms of Leung's 30-day special probation include a donation of $1,500 to a charity.

Officials at the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Commission, the casino office that issues gaming licenses to employees, said the sentence was lenient but not surprising given Lam had no prior record.

Even if Lam successfully completes her sentence, she may have trouble finding another casino job because the arrest will appear on her occupational record.

"She's welcome to apply to Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods, but that's just a first step," Mohegan Sun spokesman Saverio Mancini said.

"This thing for her brings up a red flag. The commission will question it and you have to present yourself to them and explain yourself, explain your situation."

New London attorney Michael Blanchard, who represented Lam, could not be reached for comment.

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