May 11, 2022

Poker Player Filippos Liakounakos Arrested in $500,000 Bitcoin Scam

Police arrested 23-year-old Filippos Liakounakos in connection with a $500,000 Bitcoin scam. Liakounakos was charged with theft over $100,000, impersonation and a criminal act involving electronic mail or the transmission of computer data.

Filippos Liakounakos appeared in a Las Vegas courtroom on Tuesday to have bail set on charges related to a $500,000 Bitcoin scam. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Liakounakos is a part-time poker player who claims to be finishing a degree at a Miami-area university. According to his Hendon Mob page, he only has two tournament wins and appears to be primarily an online gamer. A Google search also shows that this is not the first time Liakounakos has been linked to suspicious behavior.

Crime details

According to the victim, identified as a “newbie cryptocurrency trader”, he was approached by a known business associate in November 2020 on the encrypted mobile chat app Telegram. The pair allegedly agreed to a transaction where the victim then transferred $500,000 in Bitcoin, which included a $50,000 sale fee, in exchange for cash.

When the victim contacted his associate the next day to confirm the transaction, he learned that he had in fact transferred the money to an impostor, later identified as Liakounakos.

While police say they were unable to move forward with the victim’s initial complaint, the victim contacted police on December 3, 2020, reporting that she had been contacted again in connection with a proposal $999,900 bitcoin transaction fee. During their interaction, the victim was able to obtain an email from the scammer which ultimately led authorities to issue arrest warrants for Liakounakos.

Some incidents in the past of Liakounakos

In a now-deleted tweet, poker pro Dan Fleyshman once accused Liakounakos of scamming former WSOP Colossus winner Cord Garcia out of $600,000. The subject was brought up on Poker Fraud Alert by Todd Wittles.

A thread on another popular poker forum seems to indicate that Liakounakos was also linked to a “sticky situation” involving a small bet in an online gambling game.

Liakounakos made his first court appearance Wednesday morning, where Clark County Chief Assistant District Attorney Jim Sweetin requested and received bond set at $250,000. In pleading his case, Sweetin noted that Liakounakas is a potential flight risk because he has few, if any, ties to Las Vegas and police are still investigating whether he is connected to similar scams.

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