New York City prosecutors were busy late last week, as two surprising plea deals were announced involving both the gambling and poker world. Two of the alleged masterminds behind a gambling ring, with purported ties to Russian organized crime syndicates, pled guilty in court to a variety of charges.
Trincher Gets 21-27 Months
Poker pro Vadim Trincher agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors that greatly reduced the time he potentially faced in prison. According to the New York Daily News, Trincher agreed to plea guilty to illegal gambling charges, stating that he took bets from gamblers in the United States and Europe. Trincher faced up to 20 years in prison had he been found guilty, however, will only receive 21 to 27 months in jail through the plea deal.
Trincher admitted, as part of his plea deal, that he not only participated in the gambling ring, but help run what prosecutors stated was “the world’s largest sports book” out of his Trump Tower apartment in New York City. Trincher’s operation purportedly received as much as $50 million during its lifetime. Trincher then laundered the money through various worldwide bank accounts, through legitimate businesses including plumbing, car repair, and a used-car dealership, as reported by the British newspaper, The Independent.
Nahmad Gets Up to Five Years
Noted art dealer Hillel “Helly” Nahmad stated to court that, “This all started as a group of friends betting on sporting events,” and admitted, “I recognize that I crossed the line.” Nahmad pled guilty to operating a gambling business and had also been facing charges of conspiracy, racketeering, and money laundering. Instead of what could have been a 92-year prison term, Nahmad could get five years. Forbes had estimated Nahmad to be worth $1.75 billion.
Others in Legal Trouble
Trincher and Nahmad join a list of other notable figures that have pled guilty to charges that stem from their involvement in the gambling ring. Back in August, Kirill Rapoport and William Barbalat admitted their guilt for traveling in interstate commerce in aid of an unlawful activity and conducting an illegal gambling business. Rapoport and Barbalat ran a poker game that went from 2010 to early 2013. Both could face up to five years in jail.
Notable Pro in Hot Water
Noted poker pro Justin “BoostedJ” Smith pled guilty for taking payments for internet gambling. Smith has had tremendous success in the past at the virtual tables and through various online coaching efforts. Now, he faces what could be up to five years in prison.
Russian Organized Crime Connections?
Calling it nothing more than, “yet another fairy tale from the Americans,” Russian Alimzhan “Taiwanchik” Tokhtakhounov has openly dismissed his involvement in any of the cases. Tokhtakhounov was once called one of Forbes Magazine’s “Most Wanted Fugitives” but despite that, openly lives in Moscow. According to The Independent, Tokhtakhounov has been tied to be the third man in the case involving Trincher and Nahmad. For now, he remains in his native Russia, out of reach for New York prosecutors.