Published On: Fri, Apr 21st, 2017

“Vegas Dave” Indictment: What does it Show About Social Security Numbers in Casinos?

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social security numberProminent sports bettor David Oancea found himself in a legal battle over social security issues at casinos after he entered the gaming circle as “Vegas Dave”. David Oancea is a professional gambler who achieved fortune and fame with his ability to win big time on long-shot bets. Despite pleading not guilty, he faced charges that he used people’s social security numbers for opening betting accounts at casinos.


The dissemination of people’s social security numbers by casinos is an illegal offense that can cost millions of dollars as compensation. But the indictment of David Oancea throws light on this ever-growing concern. It only implies that there is a need for casinos to regulate their activities according to financial norms of the country.


Casinos and social security numbers


Using the wrong social security number in casinos can call for millions of dollars as fine and land you in jail. The indictment issued by a federal jury claimed that David Oancea used other people’s social security numbers to place nine bets in 2015 and 2016 at the Westgate and Wynn sports books.


The Bank Secrecy Act considers casinos as financial institutions and must report transactions above $10,000 by filing a currency transaction report (CTR). In order to fill the CTR, casinos require identification and social security numbers issued by the government. The state of Nevada has additional laws that govern bettors and makes it mandatory for them to present authentic identification while making bets.


Presenting fake social security numbers implies the commitment of two crimes: misusing social security number and causing a national financial institution (casino in this case) to file a false CTR. Based on these legal provisions, David Oancea faces 18 counts for bets between February 6, 2015 and February 2, 2016, totaling to more than $1.3 million. Nine out of 18 are for misusing social security numbers, while the remaining nine are for filing false reports.


Gregory Gemignani, a gaming expert with Dickinson Wright and a lawyer by profession, said that Oancea was probably caught by a computer after a software found the same ‘name’ filing reports using two or more social security numbers. Each illegal count carries about five years of imprisonment and forfeiting of financial assets, which comes to half a million dollars in Oancea’s case. The indictment of David Oancea illustrates the alarming practice of misusing social security numbers of casino patrons and calls for a strong regulatory framework for preventing such crimes.

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