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Robbery, larceny charges dropped in case against professional gambler

Updated May 4, 2022 - 12:36 pm

Prosecutors on Wednesday dismissed robbery and larceny charges a professional gambler faced in connection with an altercation he had with another high roller at Resorts World Las Vegas.

Robert “RJ” Cipriani faced two separate cases related to incidents that happened Nov. 19 at the Strip casino.

In one case, prosecutors accused Cipriani of snatching a cellphone from professional gambler Robert Alexander and threatening him and his son. Earlier that day, Cipriani also was accused of improperly changing a blackjack bet, and was later charged with committing a fraudulent act in a gaming establishment.

On Wednesday, Cipriani pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in the gambling case, and prosecutors dismissed the other case, in which he faced felony charges of robbery against a victim who is an older or vulnerable person, and larceny of property less than $3,500 against a victim who is an older or vulnerable person.

Prosecutor Bernard Zadrowski previously has said the district attorney’s office proposed and then rescinded a similar deal with Cipriani. Zadrowski declined to comment on the case Wednesday.

As a condition of the previous deal, Cipriani was required to stay away from Resorts World and refrain from posting “harassing, intimidating, threatening, disparaging and negative social media and/or email posts or communications” involving the casino or those involved in the case, Zadrowski said at an April court hearing.

Cipriani’s defense attorney, Robert Langford, said the plea that Cipriani entered Wednesday has the same conditions.

After Cipriani failed to appear in court last month, Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum issued a bench warrant for his arrest and ordered him to be held without bail. The judge said Cipriani had violated prior bail conditions ordering him not to use Twitter.

Baucum recalled the bench warrant April 28, and Cipriani appeared in court Wednesday.

“Mr. Cipriani, let me just say one thing to you: I hope that you’ve learned from this proceeding that you need to abide with orders of the court,” Baucum said.

During a preliminary hearing in April, Alexander testified that during the altercation at Resorts World, Cipriani told him: “The FBI is going to get you, and if they don’t, I’m going to kill you.”

In January 2020, Alexander pleaded guilty to securities fraud and wire fraud in the U.S. District Court of Southern New York, court records show.

Prosecutors accused Alexander, the founder and president of the online gaming company Kizzang, of lying to investors and soliciting about $1.3 million for personal use. Kizzang was a Nevada company that marketed itself as “being in the business of offering free online gaming and contests,” according to an indictment.

Cipriani’s former defense attorney, Dan Hill, said during the preliminary hearing that Cipriani was in contact with the FBI regarding the federal court case.

“Do the math on this case,” Langford said after Wednesday’s hearing. He declined to comment further.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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