In a Hollywood-style undercover operation involving secret cameras and fake identities, FBI agents impersonated repair technicians to collect evidence in an investigation of online sports betting being run out of a Vegas high roller suite. (Oct. 29)
2. Surveillance cam with nats "you put on that shirt and you've got to look the part."
3. Agent enters the room, nats "where is the router?"
4. Agent working in room, alleged illegal gamblers watching sports on TV
5. Shot of TVs watching sports in luxury suite
6. Nats of agent talking to alleged criminals
7. Nats, agent walking out of suite "did I look like I knew what I was doing?"
Washington - October 29, 2014
8. Wide of Mark Rasch walking
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Rasch, Fmr. Federal Prosecutor
"The FBI like other law enforcement agencies is entitled to use ruse and subterfuge to enter somebody's building but there's limits to what they can do. In this case, they pretended to be an entitiy or person with authority to come in and they created an emergency and took advantage of it, and those are things they can't do."
10. Cutaway of Rasch
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Rasch, Fmr. Federal Prosecutor
"The FBI is allowed to lie to you and they do it all the time so they don't have to come in a drug deal and say 'oh by the way I'm an FBI agent," they can claim to be a participant in the drug deal. What makes this different is the claim of two things - number one - they created an exigency, they turned off the Internet so you'll call and say 'hey my internet is off, come fix it.' It'd be the same thing as turning off the power or turning off the water and then saying 'oh, you invited me in.' So, the key here is consent. and there was no actual consent here."
12. Cutaway of Rasch
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Rasch, Fmr. Federal Prosecutor
"So, the Supreme Court has said that a man's home is his castle and that extends even to a hotel room - your hotel room is your castle. Now, your expectation of privacy is dictated by who you allow in. The cleaning crew is allowed in TO CLEAN. The butler is allowed in TO BE A BUTLER. Room service can come in to deliver food, not to act as agents of law enforcement."
14. Cutaway of Rasch
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Rasch, Fmr. Federal Prosecutor
"Law enforcement's allowed to use a certain amount of subterfuge, and what the court has to do here is decide how much is too much. So you're allowed to lie to people you're allowed to misrepresent and the question is, 'did they go over the line?' I think they did go over the line but a court could disagree."
Dramatic new video obtained by The Associated Press, filmed through the lapel camera carried by an undercover government agent, shows how the FBI tricked its way inside a luxury villa at Caesars Palace as part of a major international gambling bust.
Defense lawyers said the FBI shut off Internet access to the suspects then impersonated repair technicians to get inside and collect evidence.
The video shows investigators devising code words and a brief exchange about how another investigator should dress for the role of a technical repair nerd.
"If you put on that shirt, you have to look the part. Go all the way," said Mike Wood, an outside technician working for Caesars, advising Nevada Gaming Control Board Agent Ricardo Lopez before Lopez headed to one of the suites the morning of July 4.
In the criminal complaint, federal agents said the videos showed evidence of an illegal online sports gambling operation being run out of the villas.
A former federal prosecutor, Mark Rasch, said the ploy probably will not stand up in court.
"Police are allowed to use a certain kind of subterfuge, but what they can't do is create a certain kind of circumstance," Rasch said.
Wei Seng Phua (who also goes by Paul Phua), his son Darren Wai Kit Phua, Seng Chen Yong and Wai Kin Yong and four others were arrested in July after federal agents raided the three high-roller villas at the hotel.
All eight face charges of transmission of wagering information, operating an illegal gambling business, and aiding and abetting. None of the defendants has entered a plea.