In one of the biggest casino debt cases in Nevada’s history, a Canadian man has been accused of owing two Las Vegas casinos $12.9 million in unpaid debts.Semion Kronenfeld, a real estate businessman from Toronto, owes the Venetian Resort $7.9 million and Green Valley Ranch resort $5 million from 2009.
Last week a grand jury charged him with felony theft, bad cheques and obtaining money under false pretenses.
According to Kronenfeld, he lost all his money when the real estate market crashed in 2009 and was unable to repay his gambling markers. In Nevada markers, which are like IOUs issued by casinos, are considered almost the same as bad cheques.
Later in 2009 Kronenfeld filed for bankruptcy in Canada and in legal proceedings in the US he asked for relief from having to pay the debts. He also partially blamed the casinos for the debt.
In court documents from 2009 Kronenfeld said, “I was treated as a VIP at American and Canadian casinos. I was provided markers and always repaid them. This treatment led to a gambling addiction which I suffer from even today and am currently in treatment.”
According to Jake Merback, a prosecutor with the Clark County district attorney’s bad check unit, Kronenfeld’s current whereabouts is unknown.