|World´s biggest casino cheat?|
The king of casino cheats and his two accomplices have finally been caught and convicted in a London court after more than twenty years cheating at casino roulette.
Francis Farrugia, Francesco Baioni and Frank Camilleri, all of Italian descent (can you tell?) ripped off casinos around the world for millions of dollars over a period of twenty years, becoming the scourge of casinos and striking fear into pit bosses who would speak of the trio in hushed tones around the campfire, such was their legendary and fearsome reputation. Their jetsetting criminal lifestyle saw them hit casinos around the world including Vegas, Macau, Australia and dozens of cities across Europe.
The Roulette Cheat Technique
The casino cheats didn't resort to some of the more modern cheating techniques such as hawkeye laser computers (not to be confused with the legitimate Hawk roulette technique)or intricate magnetic devices. They instead relied on good old fashioned sleight of hand to employ a technique called 'top-hatting' where they distracted the dealer and placed late bets on winning numbers after the roulette ball had landed.
The top-hatting scam usually involves the complicity of the dealers but the gang were so adept at sleight of hand that they were able to engineer the scam all by themselves. They were rarely caught, despite the fact that dealers are highly trained to catch out such devious roulette techniques as moving the chips after the wheel has stopped and suchlike.
Instead most casinos simply had to resort to banning them for being 'too lucky', in the absence of any real proof. But this did nothing to deter them.
Their huge wins obviously brought them to the attention of the casinos and they ended up being banned from nearly every casino in the world. However this didn't stop them, they just created fake ID's for themselves - by the time they were caught they had over fifty fake Identities each.
The chairperson of the International Association of Casino Security (IACS), Dave Livermore, had this to say about the case; "They were quite slick, but they were going a long time. They’ve been banned for 20 years. They targeted casinos all over the world. During the court case the judge asked his lawyer where the money used to place initial stakes in the casinos came from and he couldn’t answer because all of their money is from casinos. They didn’t have any legitimate funds.”
Dave went on to say that it was their insatiable greed which was their downfall as they began to search out the highest stakes casinos. This inexorable march up the stakes ladder inevitably led them to London, the home of the most glamourous and exclusive high roller casinos.
Unfortunately for the trio the surveillance in London casinos is also top-notch and after police were contacted, rather than arrest them straight away, they were made the subject of a lengthy investigation in which countless incidents of 'top-hatting' were caught on camera.
Getting Away With Cheating In Casinos
Despite the investigation, the decades of scamming and cheating, the millions of pounds in ill-gotten gains in the end the only charge that could be made to stick was possession of forged documents! Farrugia was charged with eight counts and his accomplices merely served with curfews and a nationwide ban from the Gambling Commission!
For his crimes Farrugia was given a nine-month suspended sentence so will spend no time in prison unless he reoffends. All he has to do is resist the temptation to cheat in casinos again, the question is, has he cheated casinos out of enough millions to satisfy his greed or does he just want to have one more go?
My take: Well, the first thing that comes to mind is the lightness of the sentence he and his casino cheating teammates received. As far as his being the biggest casino cheat in the world, maybe for the last ten years he was...But his first ten years? Absolutely NOT! That´s because yours truly was still active cheating casinos!!