Organised San Diego Fraud Ring Targeted Poker Pros in Banking Scam

January 10, 2023
Mark Patrickson

Todd Witteles has confirmed that a professional fraud ring operating out of San Diego was responsible for the recent spate of thefts from 50-100 poker pro’s bank accounts. The PokerFraudAlert forum owner was one of the early victims, losing $10,000 from his bank account on October 20, 2022.

“I can now publicly confirm that the culprits behind the @BetMGM @ViejasCasino, and @GlobalPayInc bank thefts were an organized fraud ring based out of San Diego County. An estimated 50-100 poker pros had money stolen from their bank accounts via a huge security hole in Oct/Nov”

Witteles tweeted that he didn’t want to give away too much information at this time due to an ongoing criminal investigation.

The thefts came to light when HighStakes ambassador Joseph Cheong reported that his bank account had been debited $9,800 via eCheck to deposit into BetMGM Poker and BetMGM Casino. Shockingly, he did even have an account with the two gaming platforms.

Other prominent figures in the poker community also lost considerable sums to the gang. Kathy Liebert, Melissa Burr,Kyna England, and Brock Wilson were all hit during last autumn.

Chance Kornuth reported that he was contacted by BetMGM when two accounts were made in his name and Phil Galfond helped out by showing concerned players how to quickly cancel their Global Payments VIP account, the source of the data leak.

Global Payments services financial transfers for much of the American online gambling industry and was discovered to have security issues.

Todd Witteles said: “Global Payments does the processing for most legalized online gambling sites in the US. When you deposit to online, it might feel like WSOP is processing the payment, but they’re not. It’s being done by Global Payments. Same with BetMGM. Same with many other US online gambling entities.”

We currently don’t know where the official law enforcement investigation is headed. Witteles told us that the scam used cheap burner phones and VPNs were used to access email accounts which leaves very little else to go on.

Global Payments and the online gambling platforms are yet to comment publicly on the specifics of the case.

Todd Witteles has spoken about a “gaping and obvious security hole” referencing how a rogue employee of an online casino could access information from a client’s Global Payments VIP Preferred system. Global Payments once again claimed that it has no security breach but this looks like misdirection as fraudulent accounts opened with casinos were then linked with pre-existing banking information in the Global Payments VIP Preferred system.

We await more information so we can finally get a clear picture on where the security failings were located.

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