Two Irish tourists were defrauded of $2,000 in Times Square on Thanksgiving by a homeless con artist with over 65 prior convictions, according to police and sources.
At 3:15 p.m., two tourists aged 27 observed Elliot Brightman, 61, playing a shell game at the intersection of Broadway and West 49th Street. Thursday is when they decided to give it a try, according to authorities.
Police say that one of the women bet $1,000 on Brightman’s game, which consisted of three bottle caps and a small ball on a table.
The objective of the game is to keep track of the bottle cap containing the ball as the caps are moved.
Authorities say that when she lost the round, Brightman urged her to play again and wager another $1,000 to win her money back.
When her friend did so, Brightman reportedly grabbed all of the cash and fled.
The two 27-year-old women were duped out of $2,000 in Times Square on Thanksgiving Day at the intersection of Broadway and West 49th Street.
Shortly thereafter, police apprehended Brightman after witnesses reported that they believed the women were in danger.
The professional con artist was charged with grand theft, fraudulent accosting, possession of a gambling device, and promoting gambling, according to police and sources.
However, the visiting couple did not receive their $2,000, and police believe Brightman gave the money to someone else.
According to police sources, Brightman’s lengthy criminal record dates back to 1982, when he was arrested for operating a three-card monte game in Midtown.
According to the sources, he has also been arrested for promoting gambling, criminal possession of a controlled substance, trademark counterfeiting, and fraudulent accosting.
In 2017, he was arrested for illegal possession of a controlled substance in the Sixth Precinct, which encompasses Greenwich Village and the West Village.
He also served time in state prison for grand theft, according to state Corrections records.