Canadian High-Roller Sought for $12.9 Million in Casino Debt

Semion Kronenfeld from Toronto is sought in Nevada in connection with a 12-count indictment including felony theft, bad cheques, and obtaining money under false pretenses after being charged by a grand jury earlier this week. Kronenfeld, a real estate businessman and high-roller gambler, never repaid $12.9 million in debts to The Venetian on the Vegas Strip and Green Valley Ranch, a casino on the outskirts of Las Vegas, more than five years ago.

The debts are a result of casino IOUs written in October 2008. Nevada treats IOUs as cheques, and this case is one of the largest to reach Nevada courts since casino credit was added to the state’s bad cheque laws in 1995.

Jake Merback, prosecutor for the case and head of the Clark County district attorney’s office bad cheque unit, explained that Kronenfeld’s whereabouts are currently unknown.

$7.9 million was racked up at The Venetian and a further $5 million was added to his debt load at Green Valley Ranch less than two weeks later. If Kronenfeld is convicted on his charges he could spend decades in a state prison.

Source: The Associated Press

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