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Organiser and leader of New York online gambling ring pleads guilty

13th November 2013 9:25 am GMT

The organiser and leader of a high stakes illegal online sports betting business connected to organized crime enterprises in New York has become the fourteenth defendant to plead guilty in the case.

Hillel Nahmad was charged in April 2013 in a 34-defendant indictment charging members and associates of two Russian-American organized crime enterprises with various crimes including racketeering, money laundering, extortion, and gambling offenses.

Nahmad, the son of a billionaire art dealer from Europe, operates the Helly Nahmad Gallery out of the Carlyle Hotel in New York.

According to the indictment, Nahmad and defendant Illya Trincher ran a high stakes illegal gambling business that catered primarily to millionaire and billionaire clients. The business utilized several online gambling websites that operated illegally in the US to generate tens of millions of dollars of sports bets each year.
 
The gambling operation was financed through a host of American and international bank accounts, including accounts associated with Nahmad, defendants John Hanson and Noah Siegel, and a plumbing company in the Bronx that was acquired in repayment of a $2m gambling debt.

As part of his guilty plea, Nahmad acknowledged that he was a leader and organizer of the illegal sports gambling business, that he was the primary source of financing for that business, and that he was entitled to a substantial share of its profits.       
           
He pled guilty before US District Court Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan federal court yesterday.

Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said: “Nahmad bet that he would never get caught and he lost. His guilty plea today has dealt a substantial blow to this international enterprise.”

Nahmad faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and three years of supervised release. As part of his plea agreement, he agreed to forfeit $6.4m and all right, title and interest of the defendant in the painting Carnaval à Nice, 1937 by Raoul Dufy to the US. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Furman on March 19th 2014.

Nahmad is the 14th defendant in this case to plead guilty. The following defendants previously pled guilty and await sentencing include Bryan Zuriff, William Barbalat, Kirill Rapoport, Edwin Ting and Justin Smith, Dmitry Druzhinsky and David Aaron, Alexander Zaverukha, Nicholas Hirsch, Anatoly Shteyngrob, Yugeshwar Rajkumar, Stan Greenberg, and Arthur Azen.

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