‘Vegas Dave’ Arrested For Social Security Fraud, Claims Innocence

Legal troubles are mounting for prominent sports bettor David Oancea, who is better known in gaming circles as Vegas Dave.

The professional gambler, who won fame and fortune by promoting his ability to win big on long-shot bets, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he used other people’s Social Security numbers to open player accounts at area casinos.

Minutes after he was arraigned in federal court in Las Vegas, Oancea was taken into custody by Metropolitan Police Department officers, who arrested him on a warrant in a domestic battery case from July.

The high-powered defense team Oancea assembled for himself blasted authorities for taking him into custody on the misdemeanor charge.

“Apparently one of the IRS agents decided that they would call Metro to have him taken on the misdemeanor, even though the federal judge said we had 30 days to clear it up,” defense attorney Tom Pitaro said. The attorney said Oancea did not know the warrant had been issued.

At the afternoon arraignment, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Koppe said she would give Oancea 30 days to sort out the outstanding charge.

“I’ve been doing this 40 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such pettiness as this sort of move,” Pitaro said.


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33 years covering sports, news and entertainment in Las Vegas.