John Colletti even went as far as disguising himself as an old man, to avoid suspicion, Federal prosecutors say.
Colletti, 55, allegedly targeted his victims by illegally obtaining personal information and then, using a fake driver’s license to withdraw money from their personal Bank accounts through payment terminals in the casino, according to the Federal criminal case opened in Federal court in Michigan on Thursday.
Kiosks require the user to insert their driver’s license and the last four digits of their social security number and phone number before the account can be withdrawn. Each victim was previously credited to their Bank account associated with their profile in the global payments VIP “preferred program,” says the lawsuit.
“We identified this fraudulent activity and immediately alerted our customers and law enforcement agencies. Throughout the investigation, we provided support and cooperation that ultimately led to the arrest of a suspect,” – said the press Secretary of global payments Emily Edmonds in a statement to CNN.
Colletti is charged with fraud, aggravated identity theft and fraud and related activity in connection with access devices, according to the complaint. Currently under the custody of U.S. marshals in Kansas, he has a hearing on detention, is scheduled for July 30, according to court documents filed in Kansas.
The press Secretary in the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern district of Michigan refused to comment further, but noted that they asked Colletti to be transferred to face charges in Michigan.
The lawyer representing Colletti in pre-trial proceedings in Topeka, Kansas, refused to comment.
The investigation began when the casino security at the MGM Grand Casino has identified at least 10 victims of identity theft who have lost a total of about 98,840 $between 26 April and 27 may 2019, according to the complaint.
Incidents were recorded at Michigan State police, which opened an investigation and identified the suspect based on surveillance video, the complaint States.
In each case, the footage of surveillance video shows a man using a full prosthetic face mask to resemble an older white man, according to the complaint.
MGM Grand Detroit could not immediately be reached for comment.
To change the costume and unsuccessful escape
After almost a year, the Prairie band Potawatomi tribal police arrested Colletti on March 12 for identity theft in Prairie band casino and resort in Mayetta, Kansas, according to the complaint.
Casino employees were observed, via video surveillance, individual disguised as an elderly man “wearing a straw hat, glasses, and use a mobility Walker,” to withdraw about $20,000 from newsstands, according to the complaint.
Casino security approached the man, later identified as Colletti and asked him for his social security number because he withdrew a large sum of money, according to the lawsuit. “Colletti immediately went to the bathroom, where he removed his disguise. Colletti then left the casino with a noticeable bulge in the front of his trousers, believed to be the prosthetic face mask,” stated the complaint.
In the bathroom, police found clothes, mobility Walker, Nissan car key, two driver’s license Michigan and about $ 11,000 in cash, according to the complaint.
On the back of the driver’s license was a note with the victim’s social insurance number, which was needed to complete the kiosk transactions, said in a lawsuit.
Tribal police arrested Colletti and contacted the FBI, said in a lawsuit.
Tribal police later searched the car rental Colleti and found four prosthetic face masks, flash drives, “books on how to leave a crime”, identity cards and various kiosk receipts, according to the complaint. Police found the mask on the following day near the casino, says in the lawsuit.
Investigators recovered 83 a driver’s license, insurance cards 14 a few names 19 players cards from the casinos, two members of the Binghamton University ID card and one social security card under an alias, authorities said.
When investigators examined the flash drives, they found “a check on various persons, books, and tutorials on how counterfeit money and commit various other financial crimes, video GPKs inside the MGM Grand Detroit, a handwritten signature, and electronic Excel tables with more than one thousand names,” – said in a lawsuit.
In the table included the date of each birth, social security numbers, Bank routing and account numbers, as well as the monthly salary, – said in a lawsuit.
According to the FBI, investigators global payment noticed the resemblance of the theft investigation in Michigan and operations at the tribal casino.
The tribal police contacted investigators in Michigan, who confirmed that the photo Colletti was approached by an unknown subject in the MGM Grand casino theft investigation, according to the complaint.
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