On Friday, the Nevada attorney general’s office announced that an alleged conman who promised he could best casino pit games had been arrested.
After eluding authorities for more than three months, Mark Thomas Georgantas, 53, was picked up on Wednesday by authorities at the Hard Rock casino on a $500,000 arrest warrant. Early next month, he is due in front of a judge.
According to the indictment, at least two people were persuaded by Georgantas, aka Mark Gigantis, aka Mark G, aka Mr. Smooth, to hand him more than $350,000. According to the Nevada AG’s office and online posts of his to gambling forums, he told his victims he had a system to beat blackjack, baccarat, roulette and craps in Las Vegas. In January, Georgantas told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, through email correspondence, that he had evidence that would prove his innocence. Georgantas wrote, “Based on the damage this has done to me personally and the severity of the consequences I am being very thorough in preparing a solid response upfront to the AG in advance of this case moving forward.”
Prosecutors said that when Georgantas met with two victims, he name-dropped Matt Damon and George Clooney as clients and told them he worked for the CIA. He also claimed he researched spectroscopy at Princeton University, where he attended college. Spectroscopy study’s the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and matter. More importantly, he always left the casino profit in hand. However, Georgantas vanished when the two men inquired about their investments. Theft and securities fraud charges were filed by the attorney general’s office. In a news release, Attorney General Adam Laxalt said his office was committed to ensuring that the people of Nevada are safe from these “unscrupulous investment schemes.” He encouraged skepticism on their part regarding claims of guaranteed profits and to report and suspicious activity.
This isn’t Georgantas first interaction with the legal system; being convicted of a felony in California and arrested in 2006 in a business fraud case. Court records indicate, three years later he walked away from a credit and fraud charges trial and was captured and did a stint in state prison. Upon release, he relocated to Las Vegas and changed his hair color from dark brown to blonde. Then in 2013, according to grand jury testimony, Georgantas met Marcelo Caraveo, who was looking to invest some money and was conned out of $300,000 by the now blonde Georgantas.
In Georgantas’ email to the Las Vegas Review-Journal he wrote, “I have made several bad decisions in my life some of which cost financially some my freedom. But, mark my word, there is abolutely (sic), positively, ZERO intent to lie, cheat, deceive, or steal from anyone who seeks my assistance in ganing (sic).”