Harper Woods man who wore disguises in casino scheme sentenced to 4 years in prison

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A Harper Woods man who wore a prosthetic face mask and other disguises in a scheme to steal more than $125,000 from casino patrons was sentenced Thursday to four years in federal prison, federal investigators said.

John Christopher Colletti pleaded guilty in April to charges of wire fraud and identity fraud.

John Christopher Colletti's disguises included two that made him appear to be an elderly man, according to the FBI.

The 56-year-old was arrested in March 2020 at the Prairie Band Casino and Resort in Mayetta, Kansas, after raising suspicion about numerous withdrawals there.

Investigators had pursued Colletti since 2019 and accused him of having accessed accounts in the names of several victims using Global Payments Gaming Services kiosks at casino properties in at least two states, including the MGM Grand in Detroit.

Colletti targeted patrons of the Global Payments Gaming Services VIP Preferred Program, then "used names, driver’s license numbers and the last four digits of Social Security Numbers assigned to known individuals in order to access one or more account in those individuals’ names," authorities said. "Upon gaining access to these accounts, Colletti initiated numerous transactions, withdrawing thousands of dollars from these accounts."

During the transactions, which defrauded patrons of an estimated $125,740, Colletti tried to conceal his identity by wearing full prosthetic face masks. He also had pieces of personally identifiable information for approximately 300 identities, federal officials said.

Global Payments Gaming Services assumed the loss on behalf of its VIP Preferred Program patrons. As part of his guilty plea, Colletti is required to pay $125,740 in restitution to the company, officials with the Department of Justice said Thursday.