Michigan Gambler Has $2.5 Million Seized

This story was published more than 7 years ago.

This week it was revealed that a 50 year old man residing in Metro Detroit had $2.5 million in cash seized from his luggage as he tried to leave for a gambling trip to Las Vegas.

The money was seized by federal investigators, who claim that Brian Benderoff and two associates scammed investors out of thousands of dollars in order to fund trips to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, where he had won millions. Benderoff's luggage was seized by investigators in June when he tried to board a flight to Las Vegas, where they found a Rolex watch, $1.6 million in cash, a check from Caesars Palace worth $850,000, and a cashier's check worth $150,000.

As of press time, no charges have been filed against Benderoff, although he apparently has a history of taking out large loans and then gambling the money away. In 2008 he was sued by a travel agent for taking out $600,000 in loans and never paying it back. He instead spent the money gambling, and never paid it back.

Benderoff is working with prominent attorney Gerald Gleeson, who told the Detroit Free Press: "We're looking forward to sorting it out in the next couple of months."

Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise.

About the author

Dustin Jermalowicz // News Editor
Dustin Jermalowicz
Dustin has a long-standing passion for gambling. He has been writing professionally on the subject and breaking industry news for Casino Listings since 2011. His favorite casino games include Blackjack, Poker, and Hi/Lo. A proud native of Detroit, Dustin currently lives in Michigan.
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barbadosslim93's picture
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29 December 2016 - 6:51pm

While this guy certainly sounds like a scumbag, I have to get on my soapbox and say that US civil forfeiture laws are absolute BS. For those of you who don't know, the law pretty much allows law enforcement at any level to take your stuff without a warrant.

There have been multiple instances of people claiming that they had sums of cash or other goods on them that have been taken willy nilly by the cops, feds, or other agencies, and it really does happen. What do the police need to take your stuff? A warrant? Nope. They are allowed to take it into custody with "reasonable suspicion" that a crime could have been committed.

A prime example of this is a story I recall hearing that made me very upset. A man was moving from my home state of Michigan to California. Well, instead of hiring a moving van, he fit what he could into his car and drove, so that he'd have a vehicle when he got there. While on the trip, he was pulled over somewhere (I'm not sure of the exact state, but I want to say like Nevada) for speeding. The police officer found out that he had all this stuff and a wad of cash (that was to be used to pay for a deposit for rent), and "assumed" that he was a drug dealer, as only drug dealers have cash like that.

The officer seized the money under civil forfeiture laws, and the man was out of luck. He couldn't even get it back, as the burden of proof was on him to show that he WASN'T doing something illegal, and the odds of getting a judge to give that money back are slim to none.

Oh, and what happens with that cash that's seized? After so long, the money or goods taken can be liquidated, with the money going back to the state that took it.

So while Mr. Benderoff doesn't sound like a prince, I really hope that he and his fancy attorney are able to stick it to the feds.


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sharpe's picture
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30 December 2016 - 11:17pm

..."assumed" that he was a drug dealer, as only drug dealers have cash like that.

Obviously some lucky gamblers who didn't pay their debts also... 😉
But I'm agree with everything you saying Dustin, why this guy is not in jail at first place after all he had done before? And I bet he wasn't on his way to return his loans when he was stopped there..