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Detectives Investigate Suspicious Gaming Activity, Norwalk Man Arrested

In January 2023, members of the Statewide Organized Crime Investigative Task Force (SOCITF) received a criminal referral from the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) Gaming Division regarding an alleged cheating scam involving a dealer at live casino operator, Evolution, located in the town of Fairfield, Connecticut. Evolution is a gaming company licensed by DCP to host online casino dealer games within the DraftKings and FanDuel platforms, for users physically located within the State of Connecticut. Platform users have the ability to play casino games virtually, but with the experience of a live dealer, through live video feeds.

Information provided by DCP investigators alleged that a specific Evolution employee, identified as Sebastian Echeverri, DOB 05/20/1999, of Norwalk, Connecticut, would use his access to card decks to either memorize a series of cards or even manipulate a series of cards to then place favorable bets on the outcome, using three separate DraftKing accounts.

Echeverri’s job functions required him to work as a shuffler, preparing decks of playing cards while the dealer interacts with the players over the video feed. Records examined during the course of the investigation revealed that one or more of the three DraftKings accounts allegedly controlled by Echeverri demonstrated a pattern of placing abnormally high bets after Echeverri had handled the cards. In total, Evolution representatives estimated that Echeverri exploited his role as a shuffler during at least 26 different games.

Detectives obtained video surveillance and internal gaming documents to determine that Echeverri, in his position as a game presenter at Evolution, was manipulating blackjack hands to facilitate advantageous online bets on multiple DraftKings accounts that he was operating and was responsible for defrauding the platform out of at least $47,000.

Evolution was alerted to the scheme during the normal course of business monitoring, when one of the three DraftKings accounts allegedly controlled by Echevarri was flagged for suspicious gaming activity from approximately July of 2022 through December of 2022. Records indicated that the flagged DraftKings account was accessed through the same device used by Echevarri to log into Evolution’s employee portals and view information such as his work schedule or time sheets.

Investigators reviewed video footage from Evolution relative to the games suspected to have been manipulated by Echeverri. The videos appeared to depict Echeverri actively examining the sequence of the cards on which he would subsequently place bets.

On 03/20/2023, Echeverri voluntarily met with investigators and admitted to using his position to tamper with cards and place advantageous wagers on blackjack games. Additionally, Echeverri admitted that he controlled the three DraftKings accounts allegedly used to place bets on the blackjack hands.

Based upon this information, investigators applied for a warrant for Echeverri’s arrest, which was granted on 03/24/2023.

On 03/29/2023, Echeverri turned himself in at Troop G in Bridgeport after learning of the active warrant for his arrest. Echeverri was taken into custody, processed and charged with the following:

C.G.S. 53a-122, Larceny in the 1st Degree

C.G.S. 53a-127d, Cheating

Echeverri was later released on a $50,000 surety bond and is scheduled for arraignment at Bridgeport Superior Court, on 04/20/2023.

If you think you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, please visit this website to access problem gambling resources available in Connecticut:

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