Conman dressed in elderly disguises to steal from 300 Casino gamblers

A fraudster in disguise stole more than £91,000 from 300 VIP gamblers at casinos.

John Christopher Colletti, 56, dressed up in prosthetics to pass for an elderly man for the outrageous con, and on one he dressed up as a woman to cruelly rob victims of cash.

The shameless crook from Michigan, USA, donned full prosthetic face masks as well as hats, glasses, surgical masks and even a walking stick in an attempt to fly under the radar.

Coletti targeted casinos in the states of Michigan and Kansas where he poached entire identities to retrieve money from Global Payments Gaming Services kiosks which offer jackpot processing, e-check, ATM and cash advance services.

The conman was jailed for more than four years following his arrest at the Prairie Band Casino and Resort in Mayetta, Kansas, on March 12, 2020, when he withdrew multiple large sums of cash, MailOnline reports.

When finally busted with $20,000 (£14,500) in hand, Colletti was disguised as an elderly man, with a straw hat, glasses, and a walking stick.

After security asked Colletti about the large withdrawals, he stormed to the casino toilets where he took off his disguise and "exited the casino with a noticeable bulge down the front of his pants, believed to be the prosthetic face mask," FBI reports say.

Investigators tracked him down after finding his clothes, walking stick, $11,000 (£8,000) cash, and two Michigan driver's licenses in the casino loos.

The licenses were of two known victims and had details of their Social Security numbers and telephone numbers stuck to them. The photos on them both had been altered so they were wearing a face mask.

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Inside Colletti's car, police then found multiple prosthetic face masks, 83 driver's licenses, a straw hat with a black ribbon, a counterfeit $100 bill, surgical masks, and "books on how to get away with committing crime."

Stacey Studnicki, his court-appointed lawyer said he needed help for his mental health. She wrote in court documents: "He has recently witnessed the dissolution of his marriage, and his immediate family also has withdrawn their support of him."

However, prosecutors argued Colletti "orchestrated an ingenious, elaborate scheme while clad in Hollywood-esque disguises" and did not believe he would have stopped if he had not been caught.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Particka questioned how clean his criminal history really was if he had not worked for the past 20 years.

Between 2019 and 2020, Colletti stole $125,740 (£91,422).

Global Payments Gaming Services has assumed the loss on behalf of Colletti's victims but he has been ordered to pay back the money that he stole in addition to the sentence of 51 months in federal prison.

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