A card marking cheat who defrauded the Playboy Club in London of over £40,000 and the first person to be prosecuted over the technique has been jailed for 18 months.
Mihai Lacatus, an unemployed Romanian national, who was prosecuted by the London Metropolitan police force for ‘card marking’ – a technique which involves denting cards to tell what the dealer and other players were being dealt so to give him a huge advantage of knowing what cards are left pleaded guilty to 18 charges of fraud.
Southwark Crown Court heard Lacatus used fake identity cards and driving licenses to gain entry into casinos he was banned from including the Rank Casino in Victoria, Genting Palm Beach in Mayfair and the Playboy Club.
He would spend hours sitting on just one table to mark all the cards in such a subtle way as to avoid suspicion.
In just a week in January this year Lactus admitted cheating the Playboy Club out of £43,400 using the card marking technique when management suspected him using CCTV and contacted police.
Lactus was arrested and bailed but then failed to turn up and a police search for him eventually caught him trying to flee the country out of Luton Airport Lacatus admitted 18 charges of fraud and using fake identification.