According to federal authorities, a man from Michigan allegedly stole more than $100,000 from casino patrons in Michigan and Kansas. One of his primary weapons of deception was using a prosthetic mask, which made him look like different persons. On top of that, the man obtained false personal information on the Internet and even had counterfeit driver’s licenses.
According to federal prosecutors, John Colletti, the main suspect of the series of casino robberies, used a prosthetic mask of an older man to avoid any kind of suspicion from local authorities.
The 55-year-old man had an exciting and sophisticated scheme that was mostly thought out. He obtained personal information about his targets illegally and then used counterfeit driver’s licenses at self-service kiosks at the casino. That way, he was able to withdraw funds from bank accounts of his victims, as described in a federal criminal complaint which was unsealed on Thursday in Michigan federal court.
Kiosks seemed like an excellent opportunity for this many, as they were operated by Global Payment Gaming Services, meaning some banking operations were available, including bill-breaking, cash withdrawals, jackpot processing, ticket exchanges, cash advances, and more.
All users have to do is insert their driver’s license and type the last four digits of their Social Security Number. Moreover, they are required to enter their phone number in order to access their balance and be able to withdraw funds. According to CNN’s report, every victim had their profiles linked to “VIP Preferred Program.”
Emily Edmonds, Spokeswoman for Global Payments, stated that the fraudulent activity had been initially identified, and all customers had been alerted, along with law enforcement. Edmonds added that the company provided support and cooperation that “led to the suspect’s apprehension.”
Colletti’s Arrest Reveals His Masterplan
Colletti was arrested in a casino when employees noticed an older man withdrawing more than $20,000 from kiosks. He was using a mobility walker and wearing a straw hat. After that, the casino’s security approached the older man and asked him for his Social Security Number.
The man went to the restroom after that and removed his mask. There was something that gave him away, though – a big bulge in his pants where he allegedly hid his prosthetic mask.
The police inspected the restroom, where they found clothes, a car key for Nissan, two driver’s licenses, a mobility walker, and nearly $11,000 in cash, as stated in the complaint.
After inspecting the driver’s licenses, the police found out sticky notes with Social Security Numbers and phone numbers of victims written down. These were needed for completing the kiosk transaction.
Tribal police then had enough evidence to arrest Colletti and contact the FBI. After that, the police inspected Colletti’s rental car, where they found flash drives, prosthetic masks, ID cards, kiosk receipts, and more. The police managed to recover a total of 83 driver’s licenses and 14 insurance cards for multiple people. Moreover, Colletti had approximately 19 players cards from casinos and two ID cards of Binghamton University staff.
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