A Las Vegas high roller who claimed he helped create the “Grand Theft Auto” video game franchise has pleaded guilty to swindling investors of his latest venture.
Robert Alexander — a portly, bespectacled tech entrepreneur with a taste for craps tables, sports cars and strip clubs, according to the feds — pleaded guilty this month to using his gaming company, Kizzang, as a personal piggybank, court papers show.
The 49-year-old confessed swindler faces up to 40 years behind bars on charges of securities and wire fraud. He’s due to be sentenced in Manhattan federal court on May 7.
The feds said Alexander blew through more than $1.3 million he got from investors he wooed by exaggerating his role in “Grand Theft Auto” and lying about his now-defunct company’s success.
Alexander then burned through investors’ dough with wild outings in his hometown of Vegas, including $279,631 on cash withdrawals at casinos and $44,809 on entertainment excursions such as amusement parks, spas and “adult entertainment venues,” according court papers.
Prior to his February 2019 arrest, the big-spender was known to pal around with basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal and boxer Keith Thurman, The Post reported in July.
The feds said Alexander also used investors’ money to pay for his rent and for “a luxury car purchase” for a family member, which, as The Post previously reported, consisted of a BMW for his twenty-something year old daughter.
Alexander’s attorney did not immediately comment on the guilty plea, but the Las Vegas resident is expected to request leniency at sentencing by claiming that he’s caring for his aging and ill parents, sources said.
“If he goes to jail, they’re probably gonna die,” said one longtime friend of Alexander. “He didn’t want that.”
In fact, the pro gambler was so intent on staying a free man that he was ready take his chances at trial and only decided against it because he was low on cash, the friend added.
“If he had the half a million to give his lawyers, he would’ve threw the dice,” the source said.
Alexander found success — and failure — as a gambler after a stint in the video game industry, during which he helped distribute “Grand Theft Auto” after its parent company, Take-Two Interactive, bought his firm. That deal got him a $30 million windfall.
He founded Kizzang, a company offering free digital sweepstakes, slot tournaments and other contests, in 2013. Dozens of people rolled some $9 million into it, including $100,000 from Thurman, The Post has reported.
But by 2017, after blowing much of the money he raised at casinos, Alexander told investors that Kizzang was “hopelessly insolvent,” and at least some investors never got any return on their money, authorities have said.