Police Report in Anthony Zinno Case Provides Answers, But Some Questions Remain
Surveillance footage indicates Anthony Zinno did pick up a bag that another poker player alleges had $20,000 in cash inside, according to a police report obtained by PokerNews provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD). But the case isn't as cut and dry as it might seem on the surface.
Zinno, a four-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, has been accused of stealing money out of a bag belonging to Corel Theuma at Wynn Las Vegas last December during the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship series. The alleged incident occurred at the end of Day 1b in a $3,000 buy-in event, immediately after players bagged up for the night.
The poker pro was cited for petit larceny and released on Dec. 19 and has not been charged with a crime. It has not been determined if charges will be filed.
The poker pro with over $11.6 million in live tournament cashes hadn't addressed the allegations until releasing a post on X on Feb. 8.
Police Report Details
Per Theuma's account, he left the tournament area on Dec. 18, 2023 after bagging chips and headed down the hall and outside the casino to get a taxi. It was then when he realized he'd forgotten to grab the backpack he'd placed underneath his seat while playing poker. He hurried back into the building to retrieve his bag, which he claims had $20,000 cash inside, but discovered $19,000 of it had gone missing the following morning when he retrieved the bag.
This differs from the police report's account, which states that he told investigators after leaving the Encore ballroom he "had to use the restroom and had to leave the bag and money behind."
"I never said that," Theuma explained to PokerNews in regards to the police report discrepancy before reiterating his original statement.
According to the police report prepared by Officer Lassiter (LVMPD badge #19020), the officer made contact with a security guard at the Encore lost and found on Dec. 19, 2023, and was informed that Zinno had returned the backpack to the casino.
"Security recognized the subject from their surveillance footage of Zinno taking the backpack," the officer wrote.
Lassiter then, as he wrote, observed the surveillance footage where a "white male adult matching the description of Zinno" was spotted at the poker table next to where Theuma had been seated during the WPT event.
The report then states that after the victim began to exit the tournament area at the end of the session, he left a bag underneath his seat, and then Zinno walked over and took the bag. But it does not specify the length of time it took Zinno to take the bag after Theuma got up from his seat.
"Zinno walks quickly passing several security guards and exited the casino in a Lyft ride," the report reads.
Theuma, however, was confused as to why the report didn't make mention of Zinno entering the bathroom with the bag before exiting the casino in a comment to PokerNews. He also was unsure why the officer noted that the victim stated he "only had 19k to tip cocktail waitresses," a confusing statement.
Not a Cut and Dry Case
While the officer did observe Zinno taking the bag, there are still some unanswered questions. The police report makes mention of the officer asking Theuma if he could show evidence that the money was in the bag before Zinno picked it up, and "Theuma could not provide officers that $19,000 was inside the bag." When asked if at any time he took the money out of his bag, he said no.
When contacted by police, Zinno didn't deny temporarily taking Theuma's bag. In fact, he admitted to doing so, but denied stealing money from his accuser.
"Zinno stated that he took the backpack in [sic] hops he was of returning it on his own without the help of security and police, Zinno stated that he only opened the backpack to check for Identification, he observed an unknown amount of money in the bag but did not touch it. The bag was returned with $1,000 dollars cash. Zinno stated that when he left the casino he went to Cosmopolitan where he thought about how to return it,” LVMPD police report.
Zinno and Theuma have both stated they've never had a personal relationship. In our previous report on this case, we noted that Zinno had made an attempt to contact Theuma, a 2023 Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) champion, via direct message at 3:01 a.m. PT following the alleged incident. The contents of those messages are unknown, however, as they were deleted before the recipient viewed them.
What is Petit Larceny in Nevada?
Petit larceny in Nevada, NRS 205.240, a misdemeanor, is the intentional taking of property valued at less than $1,200 from another person without their consent.
This differs from grand larceny, a felony, which carries a stiff penalty and requires theft in the amount greater than $1,200. In the case of petit larceny, or petty theft, common defenses include not intending to keep the property permanently or doing so in error. Zinno's defense, however, isn't known just yet, but he did state to police that he intended to return the bag and that he only opened it to check for identification.
PokerNews will offer updates on this story as they become available.