Isai Scheinberg, the co-founder of online poker giant PokerStars, surrendered to government officials in New York a few days ago, after voluntarily traveling to the United States to face several charges including gambling, money laundering and bank fraud. Scheinberg has been indicted on these charges stemming from 2011.
Scheinberg has been negotiating with the United States government for some time and after making progress, decided to come back to the states to face the charges. Scheinberg and his son Mark created PokerStars in 2001 and were in operation back in 2006 when the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act was enacted.
The Act placed a federal ban on online gambling in the states and PokerStars, along with others, continued to offer services, nonetheless. By 2011, PokerStars and other top online poker brands were affected by Black Friday, when in April the federal government seized domain names and froze funds of the company.
Once Black Friday took place, Scheinberg was out of the country and stepped away from managing PokerStars. By 2014, the company was sold by his son Mark to Amaya Gaming for a cool $4.9 billion. PokerStars has since acquired Full Tilt Poker, paid off players from their losses due to Black Friday of that brand, and entered the online gambling market of New Jersey. Overall, PokerStars is doing well, despite the issues from the past.
Last year, the US government requested that Scheinberg be extradicted from Switzerland where he had been on a trip. He arrived in New York voluntarily and surrendered his passport as well as paying $1 million to be released on bond. It is unclear as to what the negotiations entailed, but it is expected that Scheinberg would not have surrendered if jail time was involved.
However, we will not know the full extent of any punishment, fines, etc. until the case against Scheinberg continues.
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