Professional poker player wanted at DTW for 4 years arrested for scamming travelers, police say

Michael Borovetz accused of scamming travelers out of money with sad story

Michael Borovetz (WDIV)

DETROIT – A professional poker player who's been wanted at Detroit Metro Airport for four years was arrested in the McNamara Terminal over the weekend for scamming travelers across the country with a sad story in an attempt to get money, airport officials said.

Michael Borovetz, 44, is a well-known professional poker player who has been convicted multiple times for fraud at airports, according to authorities.

Borovetz has been wanted at DTW for the last four years in connection with scamming travelers across several states, airport officials said.

He was arrested Saturday by officials with the Wayne County Airport Authority Police Department in the McNamara Terminal, according to police.

Borovetz is known to approach passengers at airports across the country with a sad story in an attempt to get money, officials said. He promises to pay the money back, but the travelers never hear from him again, according to authorities.

Police at DTW said they first learned of Borovetz's scheme in 2015 when a passenger recognized him from a previous encounter.

More complaints about Borovetz trickled in over the last four years, but police weren't able to arrest him until Saturday, airport officials said.

Police received a tip that Borovetz would be connecting at DTW on his way from Seattle to Miami for a gambling trip, officials said.

Borovetz was taken into custody Saturday and arraigned Monday on two counts of false pretenses with intent to defraud. Both charges are misdemeanors punishable by one year in jail.

Borovetz is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

His criminal history spans 13 states, according to records.

Anyone who has been a victim of Borovetz's alleged scheme is asked to call police at 734-942-5212.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.