Italian convicted for using infrared glasses to cheat

Laser eyes

When technology and human creativity go hand in hand, we can achieve great things, but unfortunately some people use these two assets for all the wrong reasons. An Italian casino player decided that it was his time to get rich overnight, using the latest infrared eyewear in an attempt of defrauding a casino in the French town of Grasse.

56-year-old Stefano Ampollini and two friends of the same age purchased the eyewear from a Chinese manufacturer and crossed the border to France. For his elaborate trick to work, he needed the assistance of someone working in the casino and he quickly found two accomplices. The dealers agreed to mark the cards with invisible ink, so Stefano and his buddies had an easy mission in deciding whether it is worth hitting or standing before each round of blackjack.

The pair of infrared glasses set him back €2,000, but the return on investment was generous as he won €70,000 on the first night. The group was so thrilled with this performance that they decided to try again, but this time casino representatives and police were waiting. Following Ampollini’s big win, casino officials suspected that something might be wrong and decided to inform the police who conducted a thorough investigation.

Their conclusions were clear and all it took was for Stefano to show up again, which he did a few days later, this time alone. Unaware of the fact that every single move he made was monitored by the police, he embarked in what looked like another winning streak. This time he only collected €21,000 before calling it a night, but unfortunately for him he didn’t get the chance to enjoy his winnings. The moment he stepped out of the casino, he was picked up by the police and arrested for defrauding the casino.

French officers took him in to custody and he was sent to trial, with Judge Marc Joando presiding over the case and convicting him to two years in jail. He was also fined €100,000, which means that all his profits went down the drain and he will be spending the next couple of years with his friends, Gianfranco Tirrito and Rocco Grassanno. Both of them were convicted and although their plan looked great on paper and they made full use of top-of-the-line technology, their story now serves as a cautionary tale for other crooks.