DETROIT – A Harper Woods man accused of using disguises to steal money from casinos pleads guilty to wire fraud and identify fraud.
John Christopher Colletti, 56, entered his guilty plea Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, officials said.
“This defendant went to extraordinary lengths to hide his identity in order to steal others identities and money,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin. “I commend the work of the FBI agents for tracking Colletti down and helping bring him to justice.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Colletti accessed accounts of Global Payments Gaming Inc. (GPGS) VIP Preferred Program patrons through kiosks at various casinos at two states, including MGM Grand in Detroit. Officials said that between April 2019 and March 2020, he used names, driver’s license numbers and last four digits of social security numbers to access the victims’ accounts. He completed several transactions, withdrawing thousands of dollars.
Officials said that Colletti wore full prosthetic facemasks to conceal his identity, defrauding his victims out of about $125,740. Court documents state that investigators identified at least 10 victims of identity theft at the MGM Grand casino back in May of 2019 -- A total loss of about $98,000.
“GPGS assumed the loss on behalf of its VIP Preferred Program patrons, who were the individual victims. As part of his guilty plea, Colletti will be required to pay restitution to GPGS in the full amount of $125,740,” read a press release.
Colletti was arrested he attempted to pull a similar scheme at a casino in Kansas. Officials said in his possession were pieces of personally identifiable information (PII) for about 300 identities as well as several disguises.
He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on the charge of wire fraud and minimum of two years on the charge of identity fraud. He will be sentenced this summer.
“John Colletti stole the identities of dozens of innocent people, dragging them all into his criminal scheme,” said Timothy Waters, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office. “The impacts of identity theft are serious and far-reaching for victims, and the FBI will work hard to ensure anyone who engages in this type of conduct is held accountable.”