They had different motives, used varying tactics, but these criminals all lost when it came to gambling with the law in 2017. The degrees of their transgressions ranged from bizarre to tragic.

Billy Walters
Famed sports gambler Billy Walters was found guilty of 10 counts of fraud and conspiracy and sentenced to five years in prison in 2017. (Image: Wall Street Journal)

Embezzlement, fraud, robbery, and murder were some of the felonies carried out by this collection of criminals and crackpots. Several of them faced justice, while a couple decided to carry it out themselves.

These people all found out the hard way that crime doesn’t pay.

Con Men and Hustlers

Billy Walters

One of the most successful sports gamblers Las Vegas has ever seen, the 71-year-old decided he didn’t have enough money wagering on football and basketball and got into trading stocks. Like most gamblers he was looking for an edge and found one in Dean Foods Co. Chairman Tom Davis.

The executive fed him inside information on the company that he used to make trades and profit richly from. He was charged and found guilty of 10 counts of fraud and conspiracy and sentenced to five years. He surrendered to authorities October 10 and is appealing the verdict.

Travell Thomas

The one-time owner of a debt collection company, Thomas, a professional poker player, used his business to bilk people out of $31 million of which he kept $1.5 million. He was a two-time WSOP circuit ring winner. When Thomas was sentenced in April to 100 months in prison for the scam the Buffalo, the New York native broke down in tears in the courtroom.

Crackpot on Crack?

Jason Funke

A month after winning a combined $31,860 in three events at the World Series of Poker, the 25-year-old poker pro was found naked sitting outside a Las Vegas church with a semiautomatic handgun. Funke was rumored to have a drug problem, along with some possible mental illness.

Police were called and tried to get him to surrender but instead shot him in the upper shoulder. He was charged with possession of a dangerous weapon at a school and indecent exposure.

Cold-Blooded Killers

Jessie Javier Carlos

A lone gunman with heavy gambling addiction and massive debt walked into the Resorts World Manila just after midnight on June 2 with an automatic weapon wildly shooting and lighting casino tables on fire. Horrified guests and employees took refuge on the second floor where they were trapped and 37 of them died from smoke inhalation. Javier Carlos retreated to an open hotel room in the adjoining casino and shot himself dead.

Stephen Paddock

This retired accountant carried out an even deadlier attack, killing 58 people from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The 64-year-old rained bullets down on a crowd across the street that were watching a country music concert. In addition to the dead, 480 people were wounded in the worst mass shooting in US history. No motive has yet been established for the insane rampage.

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