Man suspected of marking cards in BR
The alleged con artist wanted for marking cards at L’Auberge Casino ran out of luck Sunday after he was caught cheating at another casino in eastern Connecticut, authorities said.
Bruce Koloshi is accused of trying the same ploy at the Mohegan Sun Casino that raised suspicions in Baton Rouge last month: rubbing luminous ink on cards that he could see with special contact lenses.
Koloshi, 54, of Summit, N.J., was arrested on counts of cheating, conspiracy and criminal impersonation. Connecticut State Police said he gave a false name to authorities but was identified through his fingerprints.
Officials in Connecticut recognized Koloshi after the Louisiana State Police sent an alert to casinos around the country, Trooper First Class Nick Manale said.
The arrest marked at least the fifth time Koloshi has been caught cheating in a casino in the United States.
He was arrested in 1998 in Reno, Nev., and later convicted in a case involving card marking, authorities said.
He pleaded guilty in a similar proceeding that stemmed from his 2004 arrest at Harrah’s Las Vegas.
Koloshi also was banned from all casinos in Iowa after his 2009 arrest — and subsequent conviction — for cheating at the Isle of Capri Casino in Waterloo, Iowa, said Pat Townsend, of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
In Louisiana, Koloshi was wanted on one count of cheating and swindling, a felony, and simple criminal damage to property. Louisiana gaming authorities have said his modus operandi — the use of infrared lenses to read cards marked with luminous ink — is among the most elaborate cheating attempts they have encountered.
Koloshi was playing Mississippi Stud poker on Aug. 26 at L’Auberge when casino officials noticed he was reaching under the table before he was dealt his cards, according to court records. State Police questioned Koloshi as he attempted to leave the casino, but released him due to a lack of evidence.
It wasn’t until the next day that casino officials reviewed the cards in question under an infrared lens and noticed the markings, described in court filings as “small finger pad markings made from invisible luminous ink.”
The location of the markings corresponded with the value of the card; for instance, aces were marked at the same location and 10s were also marked in a certain spot, according to an arrest warrant.
“The markings were invisible to the naked eye and could only be seen when viewed with the infrared filter,” Senior Trooper Jason Evans wrote in the warrant.
Before leaving, Koloshi was asked to empty his pockets, which contained a cellphone, cash, a contact lens container and more than $3,200 worth of casino chips. According to the warrant, Koloshi “voluntarily gave his winnings back to the casino.”
In a brief telephone interview last week, Koloshi dismissed the cheating allegations as ridiculous.
“Nothing happened, and that was it,” he said. “There’s nothing else to talk about.”
Authorities in Connecticut were holding Koloshi on $510,000 bond. The timetable of his extradition to Louisiana was unclear and will depend upon his proceedings in Connecticut, Manale said.
Col. Mike Edmonson, State Police superintendent, said the arrest “illustrates the importance of partnerships and communication within Louisiana and with our partners across the country.”
“The public must feel confident that the integrity of gaming in Louisiana is a priority for the troopers assigned to the gaming enforcement section,” he said in a statement.