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Port Authority PD: Serial-Scamming Gambling Addict Nabbed At Newark Airport

Michael H. Borovetz
Michael H. Borovetz Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy PORT AUTHORITY PD

An online poker celebrity from Pittsburgh was busted by Port Authority police who they said conned unwitting victims at Newark Airport to give him hundreds of dollars by claiming to be a stranded traveler.

A "serial scammer" whose criminal exploits have been publicized on YouTube and Deadspin, Michael H. Borovetz bought a refundable ticket to get past security at Terminal B, the authority's Joseph Pentangelo said.

He then approached a 55-year-old Princeton man, told him his flight had been cancelled and said he needed $200 for a hotel room, Pentangelo said.

"He told the victim that he would return the money, that he would pay him back," he said.

The victim went to a nearby ATM, withdrew cash for Borovetz. 43, but then became suspicious and notified Port Authority police, Pentangelo said.

Detectives determined that Borovetz did the same thing two days earlier to a San Jose man -- a pattern that's been repeating itself over the years nationwide.

"He would pretend to have missed his flight, ask for $200 and promise to pay the victim back," Pentangeo said. "He would then use the victim’s business card in the next scam, claiming to have a job interview with them."

"He does this all over the country," one officer told Daily Voice, citing similar incidents in Las Vegas and Charlotte, NC, among others.

Records, in fact, show arrests involving forgery and/or burglary in 10 states.

Borovetz himself in a podcast that he's been "a druggie, a junkie, trying to get my high."

"It's like an alcoholic walking into a bar and thinking they would not drink," he added.

Borovetz claims to have been graduated from Penn State with a degree in chemical engineering. He said he'd been hired and fired from two jobs -- first by Dupont and then by a sales company in Irvine, California.

He said he once lost $150,000 in about 40 minutes.

Pretty soon, the arrests began.

Borovetz Tells His Story:

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