Convicted Former Online Poker Billionaire Avoids Jail

BingoT

Nurses love to give shots
Joined
Dec 16, 2004
Location
Hartford,Ct
Boy if this was me I would get some time on it.



Convicted Former Online Poker Billionaire Avoids Jail

Anurag Dikshit, the former online poker billionaire, was sentenced on Thursday to one year of probation and no jail time in a hearing that highlighted the extreme confusion over how U.S. law applies to online poker.

Dikshit, 39, had traveled from his home in Gibraltar with a one-way ticket to New York to attend Thursday’s sentencing hearing, where he faced a maximum of two years in prison. He pleaded guilty in 2008 to one count of violating the federal wire act and agreed to forfeit $300 million.

“I am persuaded that no jail time is appropriate here,” said U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff.

As part of his original plea deal, Dikshit agreed to cooperate in an ongoing investigation with federal prosecutors, who did not seek any jail time. “I came to believe there was a high probability it was in violation of U.S. laws,” Dikshit said of his work at PartyGaming, the online poker company that he helped build, at the court hearing when he pleaded guilty in 2008.

Indeed, Dikshit, who is married with two children, had reached out to federal prosecutors in the U.S. to initiate the negotiations that resulted in his 2008 guilty plea. Dikshit’s plea deal was originally seen as an important victory for the Department of Justice, which has long taken the position that facilitating for-money online poker in America violates U.S. law, making no distinction between sports betting—clearly illegal—and poker playing.

A few months after Dikshit pleaded guilty, his former company, PartyGaming, a Gibraltar company that was once the world’s biggest online gaming company, struck a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, admitting that its U.S. operations for years had violated U.S. law. To some it seemed like the Justice Department had drawn a line in the sand against online poker and set a two-year time frame to go after industry players.

At Thursday’s hearing Judge Rakoff challenged a government prosecutor wondering why there have been no other prosecutions, specifically mentioning Dikshit’s fellow PartyGaming cofounders, Americans Ruth Parasol DeLeon and her husband Russell DeLeon. “Nobody else has been indicted,” said Judge Rakoff. “It has been two years since this defendant began cooperating, what’s going on?”
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NATHAN VARDI
 
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rockycatt

meistercatt
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Location
Boston
plain and simple two years was ample time to launder the pay off's :notworthy

i have in my past seen a judge take a cash pay off
 

jstrike

Dormant account
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Location
Europe
Nothing about this story adds up. Guilt-stricken billionaire, who's not a US citizen, decides to travel to America because he thinks he might have broken some laws there? As the judge put it, what's going on?

Someone had something on this guy that was worth $300M. That's what's going on. What could possibly be worth enough to make a man travel to a hostile jurisdiction and cough up a third of a billion dollars? Maybe half a billion dollars in earnings somewhere else; although it's not clear exactly how he's going to earn it.
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Nothing about this story adds up. Guilt-stricken billionaire, who's not a US citizen, decides to travel to America because he thinks he might have broken some laws there? As the judge put it, what's going on?

Someone had something on this guy that was worth $300M. That's what's going on. What could possibly be worth enough to make a man travel to a hostile jurisdiction and cough up a third of a billion dollars? Maybe half a billion dollars in earnings somewhere else; although it's not clear exactly how he's going to earn it.

There is speculation that some industry insiders are seeking to "clear the air" ahead of possible regulation of online poker. A pending warrant would bar them from entering a new regulated market. Cutting a deal, and taking the punishment now, could be seen as clearing the way for later entry into a regulated market. Poker is seen as the most likely online activity to get the go ahead.

The market could be worth far more than the $300M given up in settlement. Maybe the other two were not interested, or no longer had any assets to make it worthwhile for the DoJ to pursue the case.

Much of the DoJ effort seems to be geared towards negotiating fat payoffs for the treasury, rather than filling the prisons (which would COST money).
 

jetset

RIP Brian
CAG
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
There does not appear to be much balance in the system either - as a founder of Party Gaming, Dikshit gets a year probabtion but coughs up $300 million after negotiating with the DoJ to clean his slate.

Later, the company at the centre of the Dikshit tribulations, Party Gaming, also negotiates a non-prosecution agreement....but it only costs them $105 million, go figure. Just tougher horse traders, perhaps or based on some sort of financial performance formula?

Later still, Sportingbet bargains itself a non-prosecution agreement i.r.o. pre-UIGEA activities for 'only' $33 million.

888 has at various times been reported to be in negotiations with the US authorities - one wonders what their "get-out-of-jail" bill is likely to be.

It is not only the prospect of some liberalisation of the US market that drives these companies to initiate slate-cleaning moves....the industry is consolidating, and a company with a US liability to prosecution hanging around its neck is a less attractive target for mergers or acquisition, and is probably more attractive to investors.
 
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