Infamous Sports Bettor “Vegas Dave” Indicted on Federal Charges

Posted on: April 13, 2017, 08:50h. 

Last updated on: April 13, 2017, 12:24h.

“Vegas Dave,” the sports bettor whose real name is David Oancea, has been indicted on 19 federal charges that allege the gambler misused Social Security numbers in an attempt to hide winnings from the US government.

Las Vegas Dave indictment sports betting
Sports bettor Las Vegas Dave is facing 19 charges in a recently filed federal indictment that accuses him of criminally using false Social Security numbers. (Image: Brandon Magnus/New York Times)

In the indictment, Oancea is accused of providing Social Security numbers either not belonging to him, or simply made up, to casino sportsbooks. Authorities claim he used falsified Social Security identifications on nine separate occasions at Wynn Las Vegas and the Westgate SuperBook.

Social Security numbers’ primary purpose is to help the US government monitor citizens and residents’ income to determine social welfare benefits upon retirement. But the nine-digit identification numbers have also become vital tools for federal authorities in trying to crackdown on money laundering and tax evasion enterprises.

Law enforcement says Las Vegas Dave’s alleged fraudulent use of Social Security identities helped him cover up, at least temporarily, $881,600 in winnings from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

At least on the surface, Oancea doesn’t seem too concerned with the indictment. He posted an image to Twitter last night showing him at a Texas Rangers baseball game.

Winning Streak Ends

Oancea has been one of the most successful sports gamblers and handicappers in Las Vegas in recent years.

His stock skyrocketed in 2015, when he correctly predicted in week one of the Major League Baseball season that the Kansas City Royals would win that year’s World Series. His bet at 30-1 odds paid him $2.5 million when his prediction came to fruition.

His handicapping website, (which is still up) offers packages to bettors on MLB and Ultimate Fighting Championship. Oancea claims to have more than 10,000 clients who pay for his sports betting consulting services.

But with authorities now having him in their sites, it appears Las Vegas Dave’s hot run could have come to an end. It’s the second high-stakes, well-known sports gambler to recently catch the eye of federal authorities.

Just last week, Billy Walters, often labeled the most successful sports bettor in Las Vegas history, was convicted in a Manhattan federal courtroom on allegations of using insider trading information to win $43 million in the stock market.

Clean Laundry

Since 1996, casinos have been required to adhere to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), a federal law first passed in 1970 that demands financial institutions aid the government in detecting and preventing money laundering.

When someone attempts to move $10,000 or more in a single 24-hour period, the BSA mandates that a Currency Transaction Report be filed. If the institution suspects any criminal conduct related to the activity, a Suspicious Activity Report must be additionally completed.

Over the two decades since casino cashiers were included under the BSA’s oversight, there’s been plenty of unfavorable headlines highlighting the industry’s shortcomings in financial reporting. But that’s changed in recent years, and the Financial Action Task Force has recently praised the gambling sector for its increased compliance.

Wynn and Westgate’s reporting led to Las Vegas Dave’s indictment, and while he’s innocent until proven guilty, the financial tracking shows Sin City sportsbooks are serious about keeping their own noses clean.