Alleged casino conman arrested in Las Vegas

An alleged conman who promised he could beat casino pit games has been arrested, the Nevada attorney general’s office announced Friday.

Mark Thomas Georgantas, 53, who eluded authorities for more than three months, was picked up Wednesday at the Hard Rock casino on a $500,000 arrest warrant. He is due in court early next month.

Georgantas, aka Mark Gigantis, aka Mark G, aka Mr. Smooth, persuaded at least two people to hand him more than $350,000, according to an indictment.

He told his victims he knew how to beat baccarat, blackjack, craps and roulette in Las Vegas, according to the attorney general’s office and his own posts in online gambling forums.

In an email correspondence with the Las Vegas Review-Journal in January, Georgantas said he had evidence that would prove his innocence.

“Based on the damage this has done to me personally and the severity of the consequences I am being very thorough in preparing a solid response upfront to the AG in advance of this case moving forward,” Georgantas wrote.

When Georgantas met with two victims, prosecutors said he name-dropped George Clooney and Matt Damon as clients. He said he had worked for the CIA.

He claimed he attended Princeton University, where he researched spectroscopy, the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation.

Most important, he always walked out of a casino with a profit.

But when the two men inquired about their investments, Georgantas vanished. The attorney general’s office filed theft and securities fraud charges.

“My office is committed to ensuring that Nevadans are protected from unscrupulous investment schemes,” Attorney General Adam Laxalt said in a news release. “I encourage Nevadans to be skeptical of investment offers that claim to guarantee profits, and to report any suspicious activity to my office.”

It’s not the first time Georgantas found legal trouble through business ventures. Convicted of a felony in California, the media reported that he once escaped jail through a storm drain.

He was arrested in 2006 in a business fraud case after being found with a briefcase full of stolen credit card information, according to online court records. Authorities said that he used a stolen credit card to make purchases for Fire On Ice Inc., a business he still lists on a LinkedIn profile.

Three years later, he walked away from a trial on credit card fraud charges. He was caught and served time in state prison, court records indicate.

After his release, he moved to Las Vegas and dyed his dark-brown hair blond.

“I have made several bad decisions in my life some of which cost financially some my freedom,” Georgantas wrote in the email. “But, mark my word, there is abolutely (sic), positively, ZERO intent to lie, cheat, deceive, or steal from anyone who seeks my assistance in ganing (sic).”

His lawyers could not be reached Friday.

In 2013, Marcelo Caraveo had just sold his house, and he was looking to invest the money. Through a friend, he met Georgantas, who pitched the documentary and promised lavish profits.

They each signed a contract, and Caraveo handed over about $300,000.

He never saw the money again, according to his grand jury testimony.

Evan Rodich met Georgantas at a craps table at the Quad, according to grand jury testimony.

Flanked by two men, Georgantas was “playing extravagantly, and he was attracting a lot of attention to himself,” Rodich said.

He asked what was going on.

“He told me that they took their craps very seriously and they always won at the casinos,” Rodich testified. “When he told me about his flaw-proof system of gambling, I wanted to get in on it.”

Eventually, they drew up a contract.

A section in bold type read: “No matter what losses are generated the investor will receive all of his money back.”

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Find him on Twitter: @randompoker

ad-high_impact_4
Crime
Nye County detectives pursue suspects
A swarm of Nye County deputies, at the request of Las Vegas police, surrounded a hotel room in Pahrump last week to take two fugitives into custody. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Las Vegas judge’s ruling will halt tonight’s execution
On Wednesday Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued a ruling that will halt the execution of convicted murderer Scott Dozier. Alvogen Inc., which makes the sedative midazolam, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing the Nevada Department of Corrections of surreptitiously obtaining the drug for use in an execution.
3 people shot in southeast Las Vegas
Three men were shot Thursday night in southeast Las Vegas, and two of them have life threatening injuries. Las Vegas police responded to the incident just after 10 p.m. on the 5000 block of Mountain Vista Street. The investigation is in its early stages and police were unable to describe the suspect or say how man people they think were involved. Police encourage anyone with information regarding this shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555, or 3-1-1
Robbery suspects apprehended
Four robbery suspects were taken into custody Thursday morning after a vehicle and foot chase that ended in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. The incident began when a person was robbed at gunpoint around 4:45 a.m. near Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn. Officers arriving at the scene tried to stop two vehicles. One vehicle escaped but police chased the second into a neighborhood on Flamingo Road near Mountain Vista Street. Police surrounded the neighborhood and the suspects were apprehended. It looked like one police vehicle was involved in a collision with the suspects' car. One woman suffered an unknown injury and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. 01:04
Las Vegas police looking for robbery suspects
Two robbers who recently targeted three Las Vegas businesses remained at large Tuesday and police are asking the public to help identify them. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
LVMPD Looking For Robbery Suspect
The LVMPD Commercial Robbery Section is attempting to identify the pictured suspect who is responsible for committing robberies to businesses in the southern part of the Las Vegas Valley during the month of May 2018. The suspect enters the business, threatens the employee with a firearm and demands money from the register. The employee complies and the suspect flees the business.
North Las Vegas police are investigating a triple shooting that left one man dead
North Las Vegas police are investigating a triple shooting that left one man dead at 2500 block of Ellis St., on Friday, June 8, 2018. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like