Dave Oancea, better known as Vegas Dave, has was once again arrested on suspicion of identity theft and fraud. Oancea is a well-known figure in Las Vegas who owns numerous restaurants and hotels. Before his arrest, Oancea had been in the spotlight because he was accused of stealing money while working at an annual charity event he was hosting in January.
Oancea was working as the point-person for a company that promoted the Grand Hotel on the strip. He placed large bets on the events being held there as well as paying exotic dancers to entertain people at the event. Dave Oancea is also said to have placed larger bets on the races held at the race tracks in Las Vegas. According to one investigator, Dave Oancea was a high roller who always seems to be involved in questionable activities.
In August of last year, Oancea was charged with fraud after he was caught on camera swiping his debit card at a gas station. Oancea is also said to have used his social media sites to place large bets on the races and transfer money from his accounts to his personal accounts. In one instance, he allegedly purchased two hundred thousand dollars worth of betting entries on a single day. Dave Oancea faces charges of aggravated identity theft, grand theft auto, grand larceny and conspiracy to commit fraudulently. A representative of Dave Oancea could not immediately be reached for comment. He is currently being held at a detention facility.
Dave Oancea is not the first Las Vegas resident to be charged with fraud related to online betting and sports memorabilia. A New Jersey man was recently sentenced to four and a half years in jail after being found guilty of cheating money out of wagering sponsors on various sporting events including football, basketball, baseball and horse racing. The owner of a sports memorabilia site was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for accepting fraudulent payments from companies that did not actually make purchases on items promoted on the site. Additionally, another man was recently sentenced to two and a half years in state prison for running an unauthorized online poker room from his home.
Dave Oancea appears to be another case where a Las Vegas resident was able to run an unauthorized online poker room from his home. His son, who is the general manager for the store, did not discover the illegal activity until customers began complaining about being unable to deposit funds. Upon learning of the investigation, Dave Oancea reportedly attempted to deceive his employees into believing that the inventory of the store was being cleaned out. When the inventory clerk confronted him, Oancea told him the inventory was being returned and then started telling him stories about winning millions with his “betting spreads”. Dave Oancea was ultimately fired from his job as general manager of the St. Regis Center and later faced six more years in prison after pleading guilty to nine counts of money laundering and identity theft. He is currently appealing his sentence.
One final example of an online poker player who was caught by the law comes from a man who goes by the name of Vegas Dave. Although Dave is not facing any jail time, he has been permanently banned from using Facebook and eBay because he was found to be posting links to the latest betting odds on sports gambling sites. His eBay auction has also been indefinitely banned.
If you’ll recall, back in July of 2009, Dave Oancea was arrested after he attempted to bribe an FBI agent involved in an undercover sting operation. Oancea was apparently trying to sell an undercover agent fake baseball cards valued at over three thousand dollars in order to cover his gambling debts. As you can see, this isn’t the only time when someone trying to solicit money through illegal transactions has run into trouble with the law. In fact, according to the Associated Press, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The full list of high profile criminals with links to the Internet including Vegas Dave, will no doubt continue to grow as the sports betting industry continues to boom.
Dave didn’t get his start betting high rollers at Las Vegas casinos. Instead, he spent twenty-five years building a colorful persona that included working as a street artist, traveling to Las Vegas as a clown for a night, and even setting up a small shop on Second Avenue in New York City where he sold autographed sports memorabilia. While it may be impossible for him to regain his original millions, Dave did help to popularize online sports betting and earn a new reputation as one of the newest faces in the sports gambling world. If you want to follow him, you can find him on Instagram and many other places on the web.