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New York man jailed for running illegal high stakes poker business

23rd January 2014 8:25 am GMT

A New York resident has been sentenced to five months in prison and order to forfeit $2m for his role in what US authorities have called one of the largest and highest staked operations of illegal poker games in New York City.

Edwin Ting was charged in April 2013 along with 33 other alleged members and associates of two Russian-American organized crime enterprises in an indictment that included charges of racketeering, money laundering, extortion, and various gambling offenses.

Twenty-five defendants in the case have pled guilty, forfeiting in total more than $68m to US authorities so far.

Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said that Ting ran what was likely to be the largest and highest-stakes illegal poker game in New York City from 2010 through 2013. Players involved in the poker games are said to have included a number of professional sportsmen, Hollywood movie stars and high profile business executives.

“At these games, the pots frequently reached tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of dollars or more,” said Bharara.

Ting collected percentages of the pots, known as “rakes”, making millions of dollars in profits from operating his illegal poker games. These poker games employed at least five or more people to assist with the operation of the games, payments of debts, and collection of debts.

He was sentenced this week by US District Judge Jesse Furman to five months in prison and ordered to forfeit $2m for conducting an illegal gambling business. In addition to the prison term and forfeiture, Ting was sentenced to two years of supervised release.

So far twenty-five of the thirty-four defendants have pled guilty for their involvement in the organized crime enterprise.

Bryan Zuriff pled guilty to gambling charges on July 26, 2013, and was sentenced on November 25, 2013;
William Barbalat pled guilty to gambling charges on August 14, 2013, and was sentenced on December 16, 2013;
Kirill Rapoport pled guilty to gambling charges on August 16, 2013, and was sentenced on December 19, 2014;
Justin Smith pled guilty to gambling charges on September 4, 2013, and was sentenced on January 6, 2013;
Dmitry Druzhinsky and David Aaron pled guilty to gambling charges on October 4, 2013;
Alexander Zaverukha pled guilty to gambling charges on October 10, 2013;
Nicholas Hirsch pled guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud on October 16, 2013;
Anatoly Shteyngrob pled guilty to conspiring to commit money laundering on October 17, 2013;
Yugeshwar Rajkumar pled guilty to gambling charges on October 18, 2013;
Stan Greenberg pled guilty to conspiring to commit racketeering on October 22, 2013;
Arthur Azen pled guilty to conspiring to commit money laundering and conspiring to collect extensions of credit by extortionate means on November 5, 2013;
Hillel Nahmad pled guilty to gambling charges on November 12, 2013;
Vadim Trincher pled guilty to conspiring to commit racketeering on November 14, 2013;
Eugene Trincher pled guilty to gambling charges on November 14, 2013;
Anatoly Golubchik pled guilty to conspiring to commit racketeering on November 15, 2013;
Illya Trincher pled guilty to gambling charges on November 15, 2013;
Ronald Uy pled guilty to structuring financial transactions on November 25, 2013;
Moshe Oratz pled guilty to gambling charges on December 3, 2013;
Michael Sall pled guilty to interstate travel in aid of an unlawful activity (illegal gambling) and Jonathan Hirsch pled guilty to gambling charges on December 4, 2013;
Noah Siegel pled guilty to gambling charges on December 5, 2013;
Molly Bloom pled guilty to gambling charges on December 12, 2013; and
Alexander Katchaloff pled guilty to gambling charges on January 16, 2014.

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