Las Vegas con man, escape artist, fugitive arrested in Sevier County

Composite image created by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE A Nevada man with a history of escaping custody was arrested in Redmond on a $500,000 warrant out of Las Vegas for failing to appear in court for sentencing in a case where he admitted stealing money from people he met in casinos, authorities say.

Mark Georgantas was arrested inside of a residence in Sevier County where he was staying with a family who had no idea he was wanted, and only knew the man by one of his aliases, the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Thursday.

Georgantas is wanted in Las Vegas after failing to appear for sentencing in August where he faced two to five years behind bars after agreeing to plead guilty to swindling two victims out of roughly $350,000. He had persuaded them he had a system for winning money playing certain casino games.

On Tuesday, Sevier County investigators received information that Georgantas was hiding in Utah and responded to the residence in Redmond where they believed he was staying.

Detectives arrived and spoke to the homeowners who did not recognize anyone by the suspect’s name, but did recognize a photo of Georgantas and told detectives they knew him as “Todd Wolf.” They directed police to the bedroom where he was staying.

Georgantas initially resisted and made several claims of needing medical attention, police say.

Booking photo of Mark Georgantas who was arrested in Redmond, Utah, Nov. 27, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Sevier County Sheriff’s Office via casino.org, St. George News

However, detectives had been forewarned by Las Vegas police that Georgantas typically claims he needs medical attention and then escapes from custody.

He was arrested without further incident and transported to the Sevier County Jail where he is expected to be extradited to Las Vegas to face his charges there.

Investigators in Sevier County also said that Georgantas has had several incidents where he escaped from custody in the past, including an incident where he crawled through a sewer system in California to escape capture, and another incident where he reportedly crawled through a bathroom window in a Las Vegas courthouse.

He faces additional charges since he fled after making the deal, so prosecutors have reinstated five felony charges that include securities fraud and theft.

Prosecutors can also argue that Georgantas is a habitual criminal, a classification that allows additional penalties to be placed on convicted offenders, as reported Wednesday by casino.org.

Tuesday’s arrest stems from a joint investigation between Millard County Sheriff’s Office and the Sevier Major Crimes Unit.

This report is based on statements from police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact. 

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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