A suspect has been apprehended after orchestrating a fraudulent scheme at the Circa Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, resulting in over $1.1 million being paid for fire extinguishers and other fire prevention equipment. Erik Gutierrez, a 23-year-old individual, was charged earlier this month with theft of more than $100,000, according to a report by Las Vegas TV station KLAS.
The incident began on June 17 when an individual called the cashier's cage at Circa, claiming to be the owner of the establishment. Initially, the caller requested an immediate payment of $320,000, purportedly for a fire department inspection of the fire extinguishers. The cage supervisor, believing the caller to be the hotel's owner, complied with the request. The caller continued to communicate with the supervisor off-site, posing as a hotel attorney, and managed to receive payments totaling $1,170,000.
Following the scam, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) launched an investigation and traced a vehicle used in the fraudulent activity back to Gutierrez's aunt. On June 18, Gutierrez was arrested at a local gym. LVMPD was able to recover approximately $850,000 of the stolen cash, which was found bundled together with the label "Circa." However, an amount of $314,000 remains missing.
Gutierrez recently appeared before Judge Amy Ferreira, who set his bail at $25,000. If he is able to secure bail, he has been ordered to stay away from Circa and the Fremont Street Experience. Additionally, it was revealed that Gutierrez is facing a similar charge in Mesquite, Nevada, with bail set at $20,000. Further details regarding the Mesquite investigation were not immediately available.
Derek Stevens, CEO of Circa Resort & Casino, expressed his disappointment with the incident, stating, "Although I love a good PR story, this isn't one of them." Stevens confirmed that Circa is fully cooperating with the LVMPD's investigation and expressed appreciation for their ongoing efforts. Due to the active nature of the investigation, no further comments were provided at this time.
This case serves as a reminder of the importance of remaining vigilant and verifying the identity and legitimacy of individuals making financial requests, even when they appear to hold authoritative positions. The incident highlights the potential risks of falling victim to elaborate scams and emphasizes the need for heightened caution in financial transactions.
By fLEXI tEAM