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Buddhist Monk To Stand Trial For Stealing $200,000 From His Temple To Play Blackjack

Khang Nguyen Le Turns Down A Plea Deal This Week


A prominent religious figure with a gambling problem could soon find himself behind bars.

The gambler, a Buddhist monk in the state of Louisiana, is set to go to trial next month for allegedly taking $200,000 from his Lafayette temple and dusting it off at the L’Auberge Casino in Lake Charles.

According to a report from the Associated Press, Khang Nguyen Le was prepared to take a plea deal for wire fraud on Wednesday but he decided against it at the last minute. He told the judge through a translator that he didn’t understand how wire fraud applied to his case. The judge said it was applicable because he used an ATM to get the money.

Le admitted to taking the money, but he said he didn’t intend to, which was another reason his second attempt at a plea deal fell apart, according to The Advocate.

Le’s game reportedly was blackjack and he would spend up to $10,000 a session. The alleged crimes took place between January 2013 and August 2014.

He was arrested in September over the alleged theft and embezzlement.