An unemployed poker player from Romania who cheated two Greater Manchester casinos out of huge sums of cash has been caught after trying to flee the country.
Mihai Lacatos, a Romanian national, duped casinos in Salford and Stockport as well as many others across the country during a six-year gambling spree.
The jobless 61-year-old gained an unfair advantage by putting barely visible marks in cards to help him identify what other players were holding as he sat at tables for hours on end.
He managed to scam the Playboy Club in Mayfair, London, out of more than £43,000 in just a week.
Mr Lacatos was banned from eight casinos across the UK, but managed to gain entry by producing fake ID cards and driving licenses, which drew suspicion away from him.
However, the conman was arrested in March last year after getting noticed by a staff member at the Rubicon Casino in Northampton and given a court date in May.
While on bail, the Romanian managed to trick three more casinos before detectives tracked him down at Luton Airport trying to flee the country, after failing to attend his court date.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, officers seized a total of £4,485 from the offender.
Mr Lacatos will return to Southwark Crown Court with 14 fraud charges on March 16 to be sentenced.
Image courtesy of Poker Photos via FlickR, with thanks.