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Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas | 9 comments

Vegas Con Man Swindles Suckers with Gambling System




Beware.  Mark Georgantas has a gambling system.

The 53-year-old “professional gambler,” who promotes himself under the tawdry alias “Pure Cash,” insists he’s discovered the secret on how to beat casinos at their own game.  He claims to have won huge profits at blackjack, baccarat, craps, and roulette.  Moreover, the spoils of his secret systems have been shared with an elite clique of privileged investors.

Pray tell, how do I get in on the action?

Lucky for us, Georgantas is generous.  According to multiple gambling websites and user posts made at various online forums, he’s been marketing his betting systems as intellectual property of several private investment companies.  He’s claims that one his firms, “Monster Gaming Entertainment LLC,” would earn $250 million in profit on a $700,000 investment.  Another of his companies, “Monster Intellectual Holdings LLC,” was projected to earn $400 million on a mere $50,000 investment.  But his crown jewel in the bustling financial empire of the imagination was something called “Monster Gaming Products LLC, which would earn back a whopping $4 billion on a $250,000 investment.  Not prone to idleness, he’s also the self-appointed president a company called “21 Matrix, Inc.,” although no one is quite sure exactly what the company produces (other than victims, perhaps).

Georgantas has been trolling victims throughout Nevada and California in recent years looking for suckers while pulling off all sorts of different scams, many connected to gambling.  According to a Jan. 17, 2016 story about Georgantas which ran in the Las Vegas Review Journal:

“He never explained exactly how he won, but he promised that selling his system could make $3.9 billion alone.  He could pull in another $400 million with a reality TV show, a movie, books, merchandising and a player for hire….He name-dropped George Clooney and Matt Damon as clients.  He said he had worked for the CIA.  He claimed he attended Princeton University, where he researched spectroscopy, the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation.  Most important, he always walked out of a casino with a profit.

Hey, if George Clooney and Matt Damon are clients, then deal me in.  Where’s my checkbook?




With billions in profits awaiting potential investors, Georgantas isn’t averse to helping out the little guy every once in a while.  Consider the story of a potential mark who confided in Georgantas that he was desperate for money and needed to make enough money for en expensive knee operation for his mother.  Under the headline, “One time deal for mom” Georgantas insisted he could return significant profits at no risk.  [SEE FOOTNOTE BELOW FOR FULL TEXT]

According to sources, he’s badgered emailed his prospective clients begging for investment capital.  He’s even brazenly attempted to sell something he refers to as his secret “Biggins Craps System” to fellow gamblers while actually standing at the tables at casinos in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Laughlin, and Primm.  Unfortunately, no audio or visual evidence exists of Georgantas hitting up the assorted truck drivers and anonymous tourists known to frequent the low-stakes craps tables in Primm.  But if something does surface, somewhere, I’d sure as hell love to see him work his sales pitch.

In written correspondence to potential clients, Georgantas claims he’s willing to share his gambling knowledge — for a fee.  One $10,000 investment package is referred to as his “absentee bankroll” system.  How fitting.  You fork your money over to Georgantas, while he does all the “work.”  Yeah, he’ll do quite a job with your money, alright.  You won’t even have to leave home, or break a sweat.  He promises a payback of $1,000 a day in profits over the first 30 days.  He also gives clients his “personal guarantee.”  Have no fear.  His gives his personal guarantee is “in writing.”  He calls this his “pc.”

Then, there’s the more conventional option, where Geograntas teaches you his secret system personally, which you can use to profit on your own, as you please.  His sales pitch includes this gem, posted verbatim from one of the emails sent to one of his targeted victims:

“Talk about living the dream.  Where else can you fall out of bed, go downstairs to a table, win, and go to cashier?  No employees, no boss, no inventory, no hassle.  Pure cash, baby!”

Not exactly a master of subtlety, here are just a few of the photos he’s posted on his Facebook page:


Screenshot 2016-03-26 at 4.40.38 PM - Edited


Screenshot 2016-03-26 at 4.45.08 PM - Edited


If testicles were tossed into a fruit salad, Mark Georgantas would have balls the sizes of cantaloupes.

Incredibly, there are still plenty of gullible people out there who fall for this sort of thing (including me, as readers very well know based on one experience many years with a con man named “Peter Falcone”).

In the two most-recently reported cases, Las Vegas residents Marcelo Caraveo and Evan Rodich were swindled out of a grand total of $350,000.  In the first alleged incident, Caraveo sold his Las Vegas house a few years ago and was left with a tidy sum of cash.  He hoped to invest that money somewhere and make a profit.  That’s when he met Georgantas through a mutual friend.  That turned out to be a costly introduction, indeed.

Sometime later, Rodich was playing craps one afternoon at The Quad when he couldn’t help but notice Georgantas standing along the rail tossing bundles of casino chips all over the felt, while making quite a loud scene.  The two gamblers struck up a conversation.  He listened attentively to Georgantas’ while he made his gambling system sales pitch, boasting that he won all the time and was making his investors a fortune (meanwhile, no one working at The Quad seemed too concerned by the prospective threat of massive losses).

Both Caraveo and Rodich later testified to grand juries about their dealings with Georgantas.  Each signed written contracts.  One of the terms read as follows:  “No matter what losses are generated the investor will receive all of his money back.”  Satisfied that they were fully protected, next they turned over most of the life savings to Georgantas.

Once they gave Georgantas their money, he disappeared.

Boy, that really sucks.  I hate it when that happens.

Turns out, promising something, taking money under false pretenses, and then disappearing with the loot is a serious crime.  Convinced they’d been swindled, Caraveo and Rodich went to legal authorities and explained how they were defrauded.  A warrant was immediately issued for Georgantas’s arrest.  That’s when they were shocked to discover are far more sinister profile about the slimeball who was discovered to have used several aliases during his various marketing campaigns, including “Mark Gigantis,” “Mark G.,” and “Mr. Smooth.”  But his best-known moniker was “Pure Cash.”

A background check revealed that Georgantas has an extensive criminal record in California.  They also learned that he once served time in state prison.  He even escaped from jail once, and ran out of a courthouse while on trial in another instance.

Indeed, “Mr. Smooth” may be true to his name — which is about the only credible thing on Georgantas’ resume.  Incredibly, he once escaped from jail through a storm drain back in 2003, in a scene right out “The Shawshank Redemption.”  According to a newspaper account of the story, he joined another inmate and escaped from the jail while serving a one-year sentence for conspiracy to defraud, grand theft, and violating probation.  He was later arrested after stealing a car while making his escape.

In another dubious incident, he fled the Orange County (CA) courthouse on foot in the midst of his own trial.  He left his attorney standing alone at the defense table inside the courtroom, who was left speechless about what had occurred.  The story goes — in 2009, while being tried by a jury for grand theft, Georgantas requested permission to go to the restroom.  Then, while unsupervised, he somehow sneaked away and fled the building.  He made it outside and fled on foot.  [STORY HERE]  He was later captured and served time, since the jury had came back with a “guilty” verdict — in abstentia.  Georgantas must have seen the writing on the wall, and decided to take his chances going on the lam.

Following his stint in prison, Georgantas was released and eventually moved to Las Vegas.  Lucky us.  That’s when the “professional gambler” turned into a pitchman for various gambling schemes.

By 2013, Georgantas had created a brand new identity for himself.  He totally changed his appearance, dying his hair and often wearing shades indoors.  His new career had began.


Screenshot 2016-03-31 at 9.47.46 AM - Edited


Mark Thomas Georgantas, aka “Mr Smooth” aka “Pure Cash” appeared to be on a lucky streak, at least for a while.  He found a few suckers here and there on the way to his first $ billion.  He even caught at least two whales in his web of deceit.  But as all gamblers know, lucky streaks eventually come to an end.  The odds finally catch up, and they caught up to Georgantas.  His luck finally ended.  He crapped out.  Seven out.  Line away.  Pay the “don’t.”

No telling if Georgantas was a “don’t pass” bettor, but that would have been the play.

On March 23rd, 2016 Georgantas was spotted inside the Hard Rock Cafe Casino in Las Vegas, where was detained and arrested.  He was taken into police custody, where now presumably he awaits serious criminal charges and likely faces more time incarcerated — hopefully a very long time.

At least for the time being, Georgantas appears to have swindled his final victim.  But a few years from now, who knows?  Where there’s a sucker, there’s a swindler ready to take his money.   [article in the LVRJ by David Ferrara — READ LATEST UPDATE HERE ]

As for his last two victims, Marcelo Caraveo and Evan Rodich, they must wonder what happened to their money.  Very likely — here it is, on the rail of a Las Vegas craps table, used for bait to lure in more victims.  “Pure Cash” posted this photo on his Facebook page, which looks to be quite a huge sum of money.  Where it went, only one man knows, and that’s “Mr. Smooth.”


Screenshot 2016-03-26 at 4.48.48 PM - Edited


FOOTNOTE:  Here’s one of Georgantas’ most hysterical sales pitches, cut and pasted from an email he sent to a prospective “investor.”  The email was re-posted by “CrapsKing013” at the Craps Forum gambling pages.  During their email exchanges, the target let it be known he he needs money fast for his mother’s knee operation.  Good thing, Georgantas was wiling to ride to the rescue.

Note:  The entire hilarious thread can be viewed HERE in it’s entirety.

One Time Deal for Mom

1. You deposit 10k into my business checking (this is foryoue safety and accountability vs ambiguous debit card deposits)

2. The Absentee Bankroll Program typically pays $200/weekday which is 4k/month.. I am going to pay you $1000/day (100% profit) for 16 weekdays, which is about 30 day term.

3. Because mom is priority and the knee cannot wait. I will make deposits info any Chase of CitiBank account to maximize your earnings.

4. And only since we have never played, coupled by your existing personal experience of still learning (meaning losing more than you win), I am going to ‘pg’ personally guarantee in writing the safety and return of 10k… you, sir, are at zero financial risk. And the ‘pg’ is return the 10k bankroll within 48hrs should there be any loss…..because I know you need the profit or principal bankroll forthwith for mom.

5. WhaT I request in return iz a solid referral of every detaIl of your success story, and you place 10k or greater in the standard Absentee Bankroll Program before after you play for a period of 90 days minimum.

this is the real deal. No gimmicks, no hidden fees, no scam, and no risk. Regarless of any outcome you are paix
or repaid immediately. It’s that good brother. Now don’t get me wrong, I expect your good business, top referral, and make sure you tell your mom someone out threre cares and appreciates how you prioritized you mom…especially on your limited resources.

Let me know your thoughts. I’ll send bank info and ‘pg’ when you confjrm.



Writer’s Note:  Special thanks to David Ferrara, a reporter with the Las Vegas Review Journal, for his coverage of this story.  His article last week gave me the idea to expound upon the story and write a more detailed account of the alleged account of events.



  1. Dumb n dumber the sequel. How can people have such glorious absence of intelligence?


  2. A sucker born every minute. Great read Nolan!

  3. Ask any con man who is easiest to swindle… someone naive but honest or someone with larceny in their soul?

    The people this guy targets are the ones looking to beat the house by any means, fair or foul. As you all may remember, esoteric knowledge can help you beat the house, for a time… tipping blackjack dealers heavily to not break the deck _DID_ work, for a time… but it was _NEVER_ honest: it was just a way to make a quick buck.

    The BARGE speakers I’ve disliked the most are the hustlers… the kind of people with whom you need to check your wallet… and, in some cases, your pants (sorry, Bill)… after interacting with them.

    • Concur with your response…the crook can obviously sell and I assume could have made a nice living channeling his selling skills the honest way.

  4. This guy spells like a Nigerian prince!

  5. I saw the headline and I thought, “It’s not time for Nolan’s pre-season football picks yet, is it?”

  6. Did he find some idiots who believe him yet.
    he may need go to hongkong, there are tons of fools there.
    If British Empire did not save hongkong.
    Hongkongese would still poo in the streets.

  7. mr. dalla, i know peter falcone,no suprise im looking for him. is he still in lockup?. i checked la county, no record. anyrecent sightings?.

  8. He needs a bullet to the brain!!!!! Simple & quick

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