Man used prosthetic face disguise to steal thousands from MGM Grand Detroit

The heist included casinos in Michigan and Kansas
Posted at 9:37 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 23:16:00-04

(WXYZ) — It's like a movie plot. A metro Detroit man became a master of disguise to defraud and steal thousands from victims at casinos.

By using several prosthetic face masks to disguise himself as an elderly man, police say John Christopher Colletti, of Harper Woods, committed wire fraud and stole thousands from victims at casinos in Michigan and Kansas.

Colletti, 55, is now charged with wire fraud, aggravate identity theft, as well as fraud and related activity in connection with access devices.

FBI investigators in a criminal complaint released Thursday detail how Colletti allegedly stole nearly $100,000 from at least 10 victims at MGM Grand Casino in Detroit back in May 2019, and more than $20,000 from victims at Prairie Band Casino in Mayetta, Kansas in March.

Colletti, using several disguises that included multiple prosthetic face masks, different hats, glasses, surgical masks and even a mobility walker, developed an elaborate plan to defraud casino-goers by using counterfeit driver's licenses and illegally obtained personal information to make unauthorized e-check withdrawals from Global Payment kiosks inside casinos.

Colletti allegedly had a total of 83 driver's license, 14 insurance cards in multiple names, six open water driver certification cards, two Binghampton University staff ID cards, 19 players cards from various casinos and one social security card under the alias Michael Harris, according to court documents.

On March 12, Colletti was arrested for identity theft by Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribal police at the Prairie Band Casino and Resort in Kansas. Security at the casino approached Colletti, who was dressed as an elderly white man in a straw hat, glasses and using a mobility walker, according to court documents, and asked him to got to the cashier's cage to collect over $20,000 in cash withdrawals because that amount required him to use his social security number for reporting purposes.

Colletti then attempted to escape by heading to a restroom and removing his disguise before exiting the casino. Security found pieces of his disguise and $11,000 in the restroom.

Colletti was later located by police and arrested. Local law enforcement contacted Kansas City FBI, who were able to tie him to fraud at MGM Grand Casino in Detroit the year prior because of similarities in the crimes.

John Colletti Criminal Complaint by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd