Svitlana Silva poker player heist: Arizona woman accused of stealing $1m worth of valuables from professional poker player, Antonio Esfandiari.
Svitlana Silva, 46, is accused of ripping off international player Antonio Esfandiari and his father on July 14, then using some of the illicitly acquired valuables to finance her own poker buy-ins, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, citing a police report.
Silva, who had lived with Iranian born Esfandiari, 41, is suspected of breaking into his bedroom safe while he was traveling, then taking $150,000 in cash, up to $500,000 in poker chips and an assortment of high-end watches.
Stolen items included, a platinum diamond bracelet worth $350,000, a Hublot Aerofusion watch worth $35,000, a Cartier watch worth $6,000, a Gucci silver watch worth $2,000, a Patek Philippe watch valued at $7,000 along with a gold suitcase.
In his professional career, Esfandiari who has been on the circuit since he was 20 years old has been awarded three world series of poker bracelets and earned over $22 million playing poker.
After the theft, Silva was interviewed by cops, but not arrested. She told the authorities she had moved out of Esfandiari’s condominium in March.
Her luck was about to change
But on Aug. 22, a Saturday, the suspect bought into a high-stakes private poker game in Las Vegas using $85,000 in cash and $300,000 in poker chips from the same casinos that Esfandiari’s stolen chips were from, police said.
That night, Esfandiari called police after he was tipped off to Silva’s presence at the poker game.
Police found and arrested Silva in the parking lot of Aria, one of the casinos where Esfandiari’s chips were stolen from.
Silva was charged with residential burglary and possession of stolen property valued at $100,000 or more.
Silva has since bonded out and is due to appear in court in October.
A regard of Silva’s Facebook profile states her working at The Orleans Hotel and Casino, the World Series Poker Game and having studied computer engineering in the Ukraine.