Sentences Handed Down in Celebrity Poker Ring
Famous names such as Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have been linked to a $100 million gambling ring that was the front for a huge money laundering operation. In recent weeks, judges in the United States have been handing out sentences to many of the conspirators involved with this operation.
Hillel Nahmad, the 35 year old son of a billionaire art dealer, is said to be the mastermind behind this operation. He was helped by an associate, Illya Trincher, who is a professional poker player. They financed this operation through their personal and family money, and faced up to 100 years in prison for their actions. Unfortunately, many will feel that the final sentence of one year and one day in prison is not enough. Nahmad’s lawyers argued that he was merely the money behind the gambling operation, and had no intimate knowledge of the money laundering scheme.
Prosecutors fought to show that Nahmad was 100% responsible for the money laundering these high rolling games were disguising, and the judge seemed to agree with that description. However, the light sentence can be attributed more to a lack of evidence from the prosecution than any leniency from the judge.
The celebrity most often linked to this gambling operation was the creator of the TV show “Ray Donovan”, Bryan Zuriff. Instead of being put behind bars, Zuriff received a two year probation sentence. Other Hollywood names, such as DiCaprio, Damon and Maguire, were not involved in the legal proceedings. Their association to this set up was merely through playing high end poker games. There was no direct evidence linking them to the money laundering, but prosecution lawyers did have this to say on the matter: “They did not just show up and bet. These high rollers resolved disputes, directed money collections, staked money on other players, and took a huge share of the winnings. It is a shame that the most powerful people associated with this case have gone unpunished.”
For more information on this court case, click here.