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Northern Virginia couple charged with counterfeiting chips

A Northern Virginia couple is facing charges stemming from their alleged use of counterfeit chips at the Maryland Live Casino. Meanwhile, two more people from Northern Virginia are under investigation for a conducting a similar scheme.

The Annandale couple, both in their 30s, was charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft. They have not been arrested but have signed summons to appear in district court. The husband admitted to law enforcement that he bought the chips via the Internet and doctored them to match Maryland Live's $100 chips. He is facing two additional charges related to theft.

Surveillance footage at the casino helped law enforcement zero in on the alleged perpetrators of the counterfeit chip scheme. The casino issued a statement praising its own security team and surveillance as well as police for the "speedy apprehension of the suspects without any financial impact to our operation."

The State Police investigation has spanned both Maryland and Virginia. Authorities retrieved $4,000 in phony chips from the casino and another $115,000 that had reportedly been thrown into a lake near the couple's Annandale home. Those chips allegedly floated to the top.

The two other Northern Virginia residents under investigation, a man and woman, are believed to have doctored chips worth $1.00 from a casino in another state to look like Maryland Live's $100 chips. They are also believed to have used counterfeit chips at another casino.

Passing counterfeit chips at casinos is a theft crime, and one that both the casinos and law enforcement take very seriously. People charged with these crimes should do the same. Theft charges of any kind can ruin a person's life. A defense attorney can help a defendant through the judicial process, help ensure that his or her rights are protected and work toward securing the most advantageous outcome possible under the circumstances.

Source: The Washington Post, "Two charged, two others sought for passing fake chips at Maryland casino" J. Freedom Du Lac, Feb. 25, 2014

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