The son of France's foreign minister Laurent Fabius is the subject of an arrest warrant after US authorities declared him wanted for allegedly gambling away millions of dollars in a string of Las Vegas casinos. Thomas Fabius is accused of presenting worthless cheques for $3.5m (£2.5m, €3.2m) in a single night in the City of Lights, French media have reported.
The son of the French government's number two embarked on the alleged gambling spree in May 2012, on the eve of his father's appointment as foreign minister.
According to The Clark County District Attorney's Office, he began his expensive night out on 15 May on the Strip at the celebre Palazzo casino, where he wrote out three cheques from Italian bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, totalling more than $1.5m.
He then moved on to the nearby Aria resort, where he wrote another five cheques for $1m from the French Société générale bank, before continuing on to Cosmopolitan casino early morning the next day where he is said to have spent another $900,000, Le Point reported.
All cheques turned out to be worthless and a complaint was filed against him alleging he knew he did not have the funds for his bets. Clark County authorities have now issued an arrest warrant covering the entire US territory, meaning Fabius faces detention if he sets foot in the country.
The 33-year-old has been described by French media has an avid roulette player, who, after a ban from gambling in France, regularly sits at casino tables across Europe. He is reported to have won €13m against a loss of only €5m at gambling establishments in Cyprus between 2011 and 2012.
The Las Vegas incident was not his first a run-in with the law. He has been involved in a 2013 fraud and money laundering investigation and probed over the 2012 purchase of a luxury €7m Paris flat, which financial authorities found suspicious.
The latest development has been seized on by his father's political opponents to call for his resignation. Far-right Front National's Marine Le Pen issued a statement demanding the foreign minister step down claiming pressure caused by the case will hamper his ability to work efficiently.