Mihai Lacatos, 61, has pleaded guilty to 18 different charges of fraud relating to a six year spree where he cheating UK casinos out of thousands of pounds using a technique known as ‘card marking.’
Life must be tough for casinos these days.
The ingenious trickery of the fraudsters is challenging the security standards of the casino industry like no time before.
Take 61-year old Mihai Lacatos for example. A criminal mastermind if there ever was one. The Daily Mail broke the story that Lacatos has been found guilty of cheating UK casinos out of thousands of pounds using an innovative technique known as ‘card marking.’
Card marking I hear you ask?
What’s card marking?
Brace yourself. It gets a whole lot more technical from hereon on.
Basically, a player takes a card that he would like to remember, such as the ace of spades, and he bends it. That way when the card is used later in the game he can notice the bend, and knows it’s the ace of spades.
Are you having a laugh?
I used to do this when I was six years old, and it didn’t work back then. The Daily Mail state that Lacatos got away with his scam for six years. I couldn’t even win a Curly Wurly. Are the dealers blind?
The Romanian national was arrested after he was spotting playing at the Playboy Club in London. The fuzz were contacted, his image was circulated to casinos throughout the UK, and he was eventually picked up playing at the Rubison Casino in Northampton.
That was 31 March 2014 and he was released on bail pending trial on May 2014. Lacatos wasn’t having any of that and he decided to jump ship. The police picked him up at Luton airport carrying just £3,000. I guess his scheme wasn’t that successful after all.
He pleaded guilty to 14 fraud offences, and four counts of possessing false documentation, which he would use to gain access to casinos throughout the UK. It’s also believed that he would often disguise himself as Konstantin Puchkov.
The Daily Mail called him a ‘jobless poker player’ – quite an oxymoron. They also said that Lacatos would ‘mark the cards so that dents could identify the cards his opponents held.” I don’t even think he won his money playing poker, and was probably taking it down at the other table games.
This criminal genius will be sentenced 16 March 2015, where I imagine he will be given 100 lines and a smacked bottom.