After many delays, Kizzang investment scammer faces up to 27 months in federal prison

June 26, 2024 8:33 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • John L. Smith, CDC Gaming Reports
June 26, 2024 8:33 PM
  • John L. Smith, CDC Gaming Reports

I’m not a doctor, but let me play one for a moment.

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After years of delays due to his supposedly delicate medical condition, there may be a breakthrough approaching in the legal diagnosis of convicted investment fraudster and former Las Vegas high roller Robert Alexander, who for years has claimed he’s too sick to appear at his sentencing hearing on two felony fraud-related convictions.

In addition to an eye condition and supposedly being in a comatose state, there’s also the queasy feeling that comes with the potential of spending a couple years in prison in the wake of his 2020 conviction for spending millions of investor funds in his Kizzang gaming-platform-company hustle.

In the latest letter, Alexander’s very capable defense attorney Brian Jacobs offers three sealed letters from physicians in his ongoing argument against Alexander being forced to travel from southern Nevada to New York for sentencing in the protracted federal case before U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter in the Southern District of New York. The letter also acknowledges that the federal sentencing guidelines in Alexander’s case call for a range of 21-27 months.

The judge made it clear in previous court actions that his patience in the matter was coming to an end. Prosecutors initially didn’t attempt to argue against sentencing delays, but they also appear to have heard enough excuses.

Alexander has been a fixture in casinos for years, gambling high and promoting his investment plans, raising and borrowing money, and enjoying a high-roller lifestyle. It’s easy to do when you’re not big on paying your bills or telling the truth about the risks associated with your big ideas. But that doesn’t make him unique in the poker rooms and blackjack pits of Las Vegas.

The Kizzang online promotion might have been his biggest. According to an FBI affidavit, Alexander founded and operated the company as his own ATM. From gambling forays in Las Vegas to an expensive car and culinary-school tuition for his daughter, Alexander had a ball, while his investors were left leaning. Part of Kizzang’s marketing included paparazzi-style grip and grins featuring former pro basketball players, Sports Illustrated models, and himself.

He also blew hundreds of thousands of dollars in nightclubs and, according to published reports, once bragged of winning $7.8 million in a single night at a Golden Nugget dice table. He also bragged about his integral role in the success of the Grand Theft Auto video game. He was paid $30 million before he departed the company.

Another Alexander story is much uglier. After learning that one of his potential investors was interested in philanthropy, Alexander told his victim that he had previously donated $50 million to help construct a new wing of a “prominent California hospital,” according to the FBI affidavit of case agent Joseph Strawman.

After investor complaints, the Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating Alexander and Kizzang. The FBI came aboard and by 2020, he was charged with wire and securities fraud and was eventually convicted on the charges.

But a not-so-funny thing happened on the way to sentencing. Alexander developed a series of medical issues that threatened to set some kind of Guinness Book record for excuses for avoiding a sentencing hearing.

After his conviction and while he was busy avoiding sentencing, Alexander made news when he was involved in an argument with renegade gambler Robert “RJ” Cipriani, who goes by the moniker “Robin Hood 702.” Although Alexander’s felony conviction for fraud was public, his action was still welcomed the casino. When Cipriani went on full-bullhorn and exposed Alexander, who still owed investors a bundle, Alexander was banned from the property, but Cipriani wound up being arrested in what can kindly be called questionable charges. The charges were later reduced to disorderly conduct.

Another odd occurrence complicates Alexander’s victim story. A few weeks ago, I received information from a business owner who claims to have been solicited by phone this year by a Robert Alexander and another Las Vegas man to invest in a new hot new company. The promise, of course, included high returns. The proposal sounded sincere and almost too good to be true. After doing some due diligence, which included reading a few columns and news articles about Alexander, the potential investor took a pass on the proposal.

That’s not proof Alexander has been hustling when he was supposedly recuperating, but let’s just say it sounds like something he might do.