A high-roller turned FBI informer who was pressured by a cocaine kingpin to gamble millions at Sydney’s Star casino has now filed an explosive lawsuit against his wife.
Pro gambler Robert J. Cipriani is accusing US billionaire Daryl Katz of offering to fast track the movie career of his actress wife Greice Santo in exchange for sex and companionship, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp reports.
The claim is detailed in a lawsuit Cipriani has filed against G.F. Bunting+Co, a PR firm who represents Katz.
Cipriani, who goes by the name Robin Hood 702 and bills himself as an unconventional philanthropist who gives his winnings to the poor, claims the PR company tried to discredit him to the New York Post to stop the newspaper running the story.
It’s alleged Santo, who is best known for her role in the US TV series “Jane the Virgin” met with Katz in Hawaii after she was introduced to the wealthy businessman, who owns the ice hockey team Edmonton Oilers.
In a criminal complaint lodged by Santo in Hawaii, the actress wrote: “Katz said he could put me in a big role that would change my life and then switched the conversation and said he’d rather give me money.”
When told the offer worth for millions of dollars, Santo said she asked what he would require in exchange.
“I’m looking for companionship and sex,” Katz is alleged to have replied.
Despite turning down the offer, Santa allegedly received $46,000 in two wire transfers from Katz’s cousin Michael Gelmon.
According to Cipriani, Bunting+Co attempted to discredit the high roller by telling the New York Post he was trying to extort $3 million from Katz.
Katz has denied the allegations about Santo.
“Robert J. Cipriani is a convicted felon who has been menacing Mr. Katz and his family for more than a year,” Katz’s lawyer Dennis Roach told US media in a statement.
“The allegations in the complaint filed against Mr. Bunting and his company, and the assertions made in that document about Mr. Katz, are false, malicious and entirely without merit.
“Moreover, it is plain as day that this so-called complaint was filed solely as bait for the media as part of an ongoing effort by Cipriani to harass, embarrass and possibly extort Mr. Katz, exactly as Cipriani has done with other prominent
“This is not about money,” Santo told Variety. “This is about me standing up for other women.”
Cipriani’s cooperation with the FBI led to former USC football player Owen Hanson being sentenced to 20 years’ jail in January for overseeing a gambling and narcotics empire.
Back in 2011, Hanson had rocked up to Cipriani’s room at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney with $2.2 million in cash he wanted the high roller to gamble as a means of laundering the money.