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October 31, 2014

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Four months after seeing case against him dismissed, Romanian doctor again faces theft charges

When it comes to at least one dispute over loans doled out from one lover to another, there is no quit in the Clark County District Attorney’s Office.

In December, a Justice Court judge dismissed charges of “obtaining money under false pretenses” against Ovidiu Balteanu, a Romanian doctor who moved to Las Vegas. Phyllis Wynn, a Las Vegas woman who had previously been married to a relative of casino owner Steve Wynn and has kept the name after being divorced more than 15 years ago, accused Balteanu of misleading her to get his hands on more than $50,000 over a period of seven months.

Judge Joe Bonaventure said prosecutors failed to prove Balteanu defrauded Wynn because she admitted much of the money she gave Balteanu was considered a “loan” that was still open.

Fast forward to April and the district attorney’s office presented the case to a Clark County grand jury. On Friday, it handed up an indictment charging Balteanu with five counts of theft and separate counts of attempted theft, forgery and unlawful interception of wire communications.

“These are the exact same charges that were dismissed previously,” said Balteanu’s lawyer, Dayvid Figler. “It’s a waste of time and harassment of an individual who already had these charges dismissed to go to a grand jury with the same investigation to secure a conviction.”

The district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case.

According to the indictment, Wynn gave Balteanu $57,725 between May and November 2012. Wynn claims she loaned the money to the Romanian doctor for Kaplan Test Prep and the United States Medical License Examination, among other expenses, but he had lied about his true plans.

The attempted theft charge stems from a $9,400 loan Balteanu requested, according to the indictment, but was not delivered. He also is charged with forgery, with prosecutors claiming Balteanu faked a Kaplan Test Prep document that verified he had paid $54,000 for test preparation. The indictment also alleges Balteanu recorded a telephone conversation with Wynn without her knowledge or consent.

During the December preliminary hearing, Wynn testified she and Balteanu had planned to marry and also indicated that at least the first check for $19,400 was designated as a loan.

Figler said Wynn should have given Balteanu a chance to repay the loan after the relationship fizzled, or filed a civil suit, rather than doggedly pursuing criminal charges. Figler said that after the initial investigation, Metro Police seized $70,000 of Balteanu’s money and have yet to return it or file a forfeiture claim, precluding him from repaying the loan.

Figler said there was no evidence the document Wynn produced and claimed was forged by Balteanu came from his client, and he produced different Kaplan Test Prep records that showed the man did indeed take the classes.

“Our desire is that Metro release the money, he pays back the loan, and the two of them go about the business of mending their broken hearts,” Figler said.

No arrest warrant was issued for Balteanu, and there is no bail requirement, Figler said.

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  1. "Our desire is that Metro release the money, he pays back the loan, and the two of them go about the business of mending their broken hearts," Figler said.[Sic] He should have done this the day they split and this would not be an issue now, No I don't think he intended to repay it until it got seized.