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Chinese woman gets prison in Vegas casino fraud case

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LAS VEGAS >> A Chinese woman who says she sought asylum in the U.S. after taking part in pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 was sentenced in Las Vegas to nearly four years in federal prison for her role in a multi-million dollar casino baccarat fraud scheme.

Irene Li’s lawyer, Assistant Federal Public Defender William Carrico, said Thursday he’s virtually certain his 53-year-old client will be deported to China after her 47 months in prison.

Li pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a plea deal that had other charges against her dismissed.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon also ordered Li on Wednesday to repay $2.2 million in damages to five Las Vegas casinos.

Officials say Li’s husband remains a fugitive in the case.

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