H. Michael Borovetz

H. Michael Borovetz (Photos: Wayne County Airport Authority)

Man Arrested At Detroit Metro Airport, Accused Of Scamming Travelers In Several States

August 13, 2019 - 1:13 pm
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ROMULUS, Mich. (WWJ) - An alleged scam artist wanted for four years by police at Detroit Metro Airport is behind bars facing fraud charges. 

On Saturday, August 10, Wayne County Airport Authority Police Department arrested 44-year-old H. Michael Borovetz in the McNamara Terminal at DTW. 

He was arraigned Monday on two counts of false pretenses with intent to defraud, and remains held on a $100,000, 10% bond.

Officials say Borovetz is well-known both as a professional poker player and for his shady activities at airports across the country.

According to Deputy Chief Thomas Zahina, Borovetz approaches passengers with a sad story in an attempt to get money -- usually around $200 -- while promising to pay it back. Once Borovetz gets the cash, the victims never hear from him again; their texts and calls unanswered. 

"He loses all of his money gambling," Zahina said, "and, you know, has to get some more seed money so he can go to the next city and gamble."

Police at DTW first received reports of Borovetz’s scheme in 2015, when a passenger recognized him from a previous airport encounter. While complaints continued to trickle in over the next four years, police were not able to find him. Then, on Saturday, airport police received a tip that Borovetz would be connecting at DTW,on his way from Seattle to Miami for a gambling trip, and that's when they were able to make the arrest. 

Zahina said Borovetz has been convicted multiple times for fraud at several airports, with a criminal history spanning 13 states. 

He told WWJ's Sandra McNeill he believes there are more victims out there. 

"(If anyone) remembers any kind of a story about him having an engineering degree from Penn State, or needing money or being down on their luck and falling on hard times and needing a couple hundred dollars cash for a hotel or for a flight," Zahina said, "we would ask that they call our office."

Anyone who believes they may be a victim of Borovetz should call Sgt. Ken Neidermeier at 734-942-5212.