Fraudster Loses $3.5 million of Victim's Money Gambling, Casino Subpoenaed

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:
Apr/07/2023

A Canadian businessman says he loaned an individual $3.5 million but that the man ultimately gambled away the money at a Las Vegas casino.

The funds were to be used as an investment in a canabis business, according to court papers.  Instead they were used as part of a ponzi scheme, U.S. District Court Judge Dale Fischer said. 

Now the Wynn Las Vegas has been subpoenaed.

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From the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Ontario, Canada resident Stephen Shefsky, president and CEO of Toronto-based James Bay Resources Ltd., is seeking an order through the U.S. District Court in Nevada to take discovery in foreign court proceedings.

If successful, the order would enable Shefsky’s Las Vegas-based legal team to subpoena Wynn officials for information on gambling by the loan’s recipient, David Bunevacz, who was sentenced in November to 17½ years in prison for fraud.

Wynn Resorts apparently failed to report the huge gambling losses to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Bunevacz was a one time UCLA decathlete and captain of the Bruins track and field team in 1988.  He would later go on to take part in the Southeast Asian Games representing the Philippines.  Bunevacz was Filipino through his mother. 

Bunevacz had previously plead guilty to one count of securities fraud and one count of wire fraud.  He was accused of selling 17,000 tickets to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics that never materialized.

As part of the more recent ponzi scheme, Bunevacz is alleged to have used funds to purchase a luxury house in Calabasas, California, Las Vegas trips that included casino gambling, jewelry, designer handbags, a lavish birthday party for his daughter, and horses.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Bunevacz fraudulently raised more than $45 million from an estimated 100 investors. At the sentencing, Fischer ordered Bunevacz to pay $35.3 million in restitution, the total amount believed to be lost by investors.

Bunevacz is married to Filipino actress, model and talent manager Jessica Rodriguez.

- Nagesh Rath, Gambling911.com

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