Poker ‘card marking’ cheat pleads guilty to fraud
On 27 February 2015, Mihai Lacatos, a 61 year old Romanian man, pleaded guilty to cheating casinos across the UK out of tens of thousands of pounds. He was arrested in March 2014 and had attempted to flee the jurisdiction while on bail but was taken into custody after being traced at Luton Airport. The sum of £3,000 was seized from him under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Lacatos pleaded guilty to 14 fraud offences and four charges of possessing false ID documents that he had used to gain access to casinos that he had been previously banned from. He had cheated the Playboy Club in London out of £43,400 in one week using the technique of ‘card marking’ but had also swindled several other casinos across the country. Some of the offences dated back to 2008.
Lacatos had used slight of hand to bend cards while playing three card poker and then used this to his advantage by being able to recognise the specific bent cards. He was reported to the Metropolitan Police by the Playboy Club and his picture was circulated across casinos in the UK. He was arrested on 31 March 2014 after the Rubicon Casino staff recognised him and contacted the authorities.
Lacatos is the Metropolitan Police’s first conviction for the specific ‘card marking’ cheating technique and he will be sentenced on 16 March 2015.
Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.