FAIRFIELD, CT — A dealer in a gambling development company in Fairfield was arrested by Connecticut State Police this week and charged with defrauding $47,000 in blackjack games, according to authorities.
Norwalk resident Sebastian Echeverri, 23, turned himself in to state police in Bridgeport on Wednesday and was charged with first-degree robbery and fraud. He was released after posting a $50,000 surety bond, and was arraigned in Bridgeport Superior Court on April 20.
The case began in January, when the State’s Organized Crime Investigative Task Force received a criminal referral from the Department of Consumer Protection’s Gaming Division “about an alleged fraudulent scam involving a merchant at live casino operator, Evolution.”
The Evolution Sports company is licensed by the state to host online sports betting on the DraftKings and FanDuel platforms, for users physically located in Connecticut, according to state police. Players have the ability to play casino games virtually, but with the use of a live dealer, via live video feeds.
According to information provided by the consumer protection department, Echeverri is accused of using “spy access to the movie board to either store a series of cards or even manipulate a series of cards to then place winning bets on the event, using three separate DraftKing accounts,” state police said in a news release.
Patch reached out to Evolution for comment, but did not immediately receive a response. Echeverri’s employment status with Evolution was not known.
Public officials said Echeverri’s job involved him working as a commissary, fitting film boards while a salesman interacted with players on video feeds.
“An examination of investigative records revealed that one or more of the three DraftKings accounts allegedly controlled by Echeverri demonstrated a pattern of placing unusually high bets after Echeverri had handled the cards,” state police said. “In total, Evolution’s representatives assessed Echeverri’s role as a patch for at least 20 different games.”
Detectives obtained video surveillance and internal gambling documents to determine that “Echeverri, in his position as a sports presenter in Evolution, was a black manipulator to facilitate bets on multiple accounts of DraftKings, which he worked on and was responsible for defrauding the platform out of at least $47,000”.
According to the state of the police, Evolution is a learning scheme in the general course of business monitoring; One of the three DraftKings accounts that Echevarri said was compromised due to “suspicious game activity from approximately July 2022 through December 2022.”
The records indicated that the compromised DraftKings account was accessed through the same device that Echevarri used to log into development worker portals and view information such as his work schedule or time sheet.
“Investigators reviewed video footage from Evolution related to games suspected to have been manipulated by Echeverri,” state police said. “The videos appeared to depict Echeverri actively examining a series of cards on which he would later place bets.”
State police obtained a request for Echeverri’s arrest shortly after meeting with him earlier this month, at which time he “admitted using his position to solicit cards and place bets suitable for casino games.”
Additionally, Echeverri admitted that he controlled three DraftKings accounts claiming to place bets in the hands of Aeneas.