Online poker site, Pokerstars founder, Isai Scheinberg has been sentenced to time and served a $30,000 fine for his role in PokerStars’ former US-facing operations, ringing down the curtain on the Black Friday saga. The sentence was given by a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Scheinberg was one among 11 individuals and four companies indicted on charges of illegal gambling, bank fraud and money laundering by the US Department of Justice on 15 April, 2011. Authorities argued that any online poker room operating within its borders violated U.S. law. The founder of Pokerstars stayed out of the U.S. for nearly nine years until January 2020. He pled guilty to the charge in March, after surrendering to US authorities in January following his arrest in Switzerland. When he landed in New York from Switzerland, he was immediately taken into custody, entered a not guilty plea, and was released on a $1 million bail. During his first court appearance roughly two months later, he pled guilty to those charges.
Scheinberg said, “I am pleased that Judge Kaplan has determined today not to impose a prison sentence for my case. PokerStars has played an important role in creating today’s global regulated online poker industry by running a transparent business. I am very proud that in 2011, when PokerStars exited the United States, all of its American players were made whole immediately. Indeed, PokerStars reimbursed millions of players who owed funds from other online companies that could not repay those players.”
Scheinberg will avoid jail time altogether, and considering the charges, the fine is nominal. Kaplan said, “I don’t condone what you did but the world is made of fallible people. It was a big mistake but should not ruin what remains of your life.”
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