Russian Poker Cheat Given Jail Time
A Russian poker cheat who falsely won almost £60,000 in a single game at an exclusive London casino has recently been found guilty of fraud and sentenced to four months in prison. Valeriy Mikhaylets, 57, from Moscow cheated at poker on several occasions at the Palm Beach Casino in Mayfair, central London. He was discovered to have caused other players at the table to lose a combined sum of £57,025 during a game of Texas Hold’em.
The wins made by Mikhaylets from November 30th to December 1st, 2014 were placed on deposit with the Palm Beach casino. His play during the poker game raised suspicion with staff and security and when Mikhaylets returned to the casino on January 26th 2015, he was promptly arrested for fraud.
London police arrested Mikhaylets, after they found him in possession of two casino membership cards – one in his name and another in someone else’s – and £2,000 in cash. Mikhaylets was also found with playing cards, dice and sandpaper (which he claimed he used for smoothing out card edges). The fraudulent poker player was bailed but he later failed to return to police custody and a European Arrest Warrant was issued for his arrest.
The Russian poker fraud was arrested on the 9th of April while crossing from Russia over to Finland. Police there later extradited him back to the UK where he was charged with the offences against him. He subsequently pleaded guilty to one count of cheating at gambling and was then sentenced by the courts to four months in prison at Southwark Crown Court last Thursday.
Mikhaylets was fined a total of £86,000, ordered to pay back £57,025 in compensation and £893.75 in costs and was given a deprivation order of £50,000.
Detective Constable Mat Wake, from the Metropolitan Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Command, said of the case: “Valeriy Mikhaylets was an accomplished cheat who made just short of £60,000 profit in one poker game using sleight of hand. His sentence should act as a deterrent for those considering committing similar offences in London’s casinos.”