Illegal gambling kingpin admits breaching supervised release conditions

Recently exposed in a deposition for owning a stake in a restaurant inside Resorts World Las Vegas, a convicted gambler and bookmaker is also facing new special terms on his supervised release.

David Stroj, known on the streets as “Fat Dave”, has a documented history of organized crime associations. He also has a history of gambling in Strip casinos and appears to own a piece of Tacos El Cabron inside Resorts World.

Stroj’s gambling violated the terms of his three-year supervised release, which followed an 18-month sentence in 2018 in a federal case that resulted in the indictment in 2015 of 25 people. In that case, federal prosecutors successfully argued that Stroj was a flight risk who could leave the country to avoid trial. This restriction was later changed.

A March 17 document filed by U.S. probation officer Tina Nieman in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California spells out Stroj’s probation violation for gambling and also appears to shed some light on Resorts World’s cases.

“It came to the attention of this officer in January 2022 that Mr. Stroj was playing in Las Vegas, Nevada without this officer’s knowledge or approval,” Nieman wrote. “Mr. Stroj’s family recently opened a restaurant at Resorts World Casino, located in Las Vegas. The family plans to open another restaurant in Las Vegas later this year. in Las Vegas and will require future trips as well, however in all of his trips to date he has not asked this officer for permission to play.

In a statement on Wednesday, Resorts World categorically denied that Stroj had ever been present at the taco shop: “David Stroj is not currently, nor has he ever been, the manager or owner of Tacos El Cabron. Peter Stroj, whose we learned that he is the father of David Stroj, is a manager Resorts World Las Vegas did a full due diligence on the tenant before entering into the rental agreement.

In an April 5 deposition in an unrelated multimillion-dollar bankruptcy fraud litigation, beleaguered gamer and entrepreneur Brandon Sattler described facilitating the installation of video equipment at Tacos El Cabron and the active role of Stroj in the restaurant. But Sattler’s deposition included several inconsistencies and the company called his claims “maliciously false and baseless”.

After Stroj admitted to his parole officer that he repeatedly gambled without permission, he provided player card account statements for his gambling at Circa Resort and Casino and Treasure Island, wrote Nieman. He lost about $16,000 and won about $9,500 gambling in 2021, according to the document.

He also admitted to playing Resorts World last year, but did not provide player card information. He claimed the information was not available because he had been banned from the casino.

Aside from the fact that even players who get kicked out of casinos can get their player card information for tax purposes, the mystery of how much Stroj played in 2021 at Resorts World should be easily solved by the casino operator. approved. If it hasn’t already, now might be a good time for the casino-resort to make this information available.

Prior to his 2015 arrest on illegal gambling and betting charges in a case in which authorities alleged Stroj’s crew conspired to launder millions at California cardrooms and Las Vegas casinos, he had already been convicted three times for betting in Philadelphia. Those cases had ties to the Philadelphia mob, according to published reports.

Stroj’s supervised release began on March 10, 2020, according to the document. It was amended to allow him to travel outside of California in October 2021 on the condition that he does not gamble, bet on sports or visit casinos without prior permission. He was allowed to play in “legitimate poker tournaments” with approval.

The violations resulted in stricter conditions, including being banned from gambling of any kind and from traveling to Las Vegas solely on business, and only then with the approval of his probation officer.

Despite stipulating stricter supervision conditions, Stroj was ordered to appear at a June 6 hearing in federal court in California to explain why his probation should not be revoked.

Notwithstanding the casino company’s denials, Sattler’s deposition and the parole officer’s report raise questions that the Gaming Control Board should demand answers to.

During a Board of Control licensing hearing in March, Member Brittnie Watkins asked Resorts Global Chairman Scott Sibella about the controversies surrounding players Robert J. Cipriani and [without naming him] Sattler. Sibella played down her interaction with the two men. Both raised the issue of Stroj’s ownership tie to the restaurant.

Efforts to gather feedback from board members this week were unsuccessful.

John L. Smith is a longtime author and columnist. He was born in Henderson, and his family’s roots in Nevada date back to 1881. His stories have appeared in Time, Readers Digest, The Daily Beast, Reuters, Ruralite, and Desert Companion, among others. He also offers weekly commentary on Nevada public radio station KNPR.


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