Russians Accused of Using Electronic Devices to Cheat Slot Machines
Three Russian citizens and an American with Russian heritage found out the hard way that using electronic devices to cheat in land-based slots could put yourself in hot water.
Murat Bliev, Yevgeniy Nazarov, Igor Lavrenov, and Ivan Gudalov are all suspected of using electronic devices to predict the behavior of the Aristocrat Mark VI slot machine. Prosecutors have accused this foursome of using these unspecified devices to "obtain winnings from the games that far exceeded what would be expected from fair play" at ten different brick-and-mortar casinos in St. Louis, East St. Louis, and elsewhere.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the group was indicted on charges of traveling in interstate and foreign commerce in furtherance of the conspiracy, on December 10.
Laranov and Gudalov were arrested at the Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Illinois on Sunday with Bliev and Nazarov finding themselves in handcuffs the next day at a St. Charles, Missouri hotel, according to U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan.
Callahan believes that the group committed fraud which resulted in profits of "certainly in the six figures" and possibly in the "seven figures."
While representatives of the Aristocrat Mark VI slot machine have yet to comment, Callahan has stated that the operation was very sophisticated in nature.