- Legal States
Luke Thompson April 4, 2022 3 min read
Poker Player Faces Charges in Las Vegas over 500K BTC Theft
A poker player is now in a lot of trouble and faces three felony charges in a Las Vegas Justice Court. Filippos Liakounakos, the likable and down-to-earth player in the focus of this story who has no track record of live poker winnings as per The Hendon Mob, is accused of defrauding a beginner crypto trader back in 2020 and duping him out of $500,000.
Liakounakos will face charges of using a false identity, theft of $100,000, and the unlawful transmission of computer data. The charges against him are serious enough to have caught the eye of the Las Vegas Review-Journal which reported on the incident on Tuesday last week.
Police Determined to Follow Through Victim’s Allegations
The name of the victim has not been shared publicly, the media said. The money transferred by the victim was supposed to be deposited with a business that manages cryptocurrency investment. The victim also had to pay a $50,000 seller’s fee, but soon realized that their money had disappeared into thin air.
Upon calling in with the business on the next day, they were notified that no transaction was completed under their name or of the inquired sum. Bitcoin transactions are usually instant and take minutes to process on the blockchain. This is how they found out they had been duped by a con artist.
The victim then proceeded to notify authorities about the scam. This was back in November 2020. Since then, Liakounakos has been investigated by police officers. Investigators used the blockchain to their advantage. Because of the transparency of the public ledger, anyone is able to track transactions from one address to the next.
While people’s addresses may not be immediately associated with them publicly as bitcoin enjoys anonymity, the detective on the case said that he was able to see the bitcoin moved rapidly from one address to the next. This, he said, was known as “peeling” and was used to try and enact too many transactions so that it’s harder for anyone tracing to follow through.
Liakounakos Reportedly Contacted Victim Once Again
Liakounakos’ fatal mistake that led to his arrest was when he reportedly made another call to the victim the following month and asked for another $500,000. This time, the victim was prepared and used the sender’s email address, which allowed investigators to identify the culprit and issue an arrest warrant.
Liakounakos has not exactly enjoyed a spotless reputation in the poker community either. There have been several reports about Liakounakos’ attempts to scam fellow players, and in one instance shared by Poker Fraud Alert founder Todd Witteles and Poker News, it was said that Liakounakos allegedly conned Cord Garcia, a poker professional out of $600,000.
However, this has not been confirmed nor an investigation had ensued. Liakounakos’ guilt in the alleged $500,000 victim of his scam is yet to be determined as well.