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Thread: Isai Scheinberg surrenders to US authorities, nine years after being indicted for running Pokerstars

  1. #1
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Isai Scheinberg surrenders to US authorities, nine years after being indicted for running Pokerstars

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanv...ederal-agents/

    For some reason, this is barely being reported outside of Forbes.

    He's been released on $1 million bail, and this has been negotiated for a few months. It is almost certain a plea deal has already been offered and accepted, similar to when Scott Tom surrendered.

  2. #2
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    I should also mention that the US started extradition proceedings in late 2019, which is probably what pushed this to happen. However, this surrender was not a result of extradition.

    Disgraced payment processor/thief Daniel Tzvetkoff has been ordered to appear in court: https://www.plainsite.org/dockets/mt...vetkoff-et-al/

    Interesting.

  3. #3
    god bless that fucking guy...got me an assload of money back from full tilt, which he didn't have to do...

  4. #4
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GambleBotsChafedPenis View Post
    god bless that fucking guy...got me an assload of money back from full tilt, which he didn't have to do...
    True.

    While this wasn't a selfless act (he was paying to settle the matter between Pokerstars and the government), you can give him credit for running Pokerstars responsibly to the point where they had the money to both pay all the US players AND make this $750m deal, plus continue operating normally.

    If there was no Pokerstars, or if Pokerstars was run like Full Tilt or UB, you would have gotten zero point zero back.

    I also know a few people who worked at Stars during his time there, and they all said he was extremely nice to his employees and very loyal to them.

  5. #5
    He ran a first class company despite all the nonsense. Reading that article just made me sad remembering how good it was. I hope he has an absolutely sweetheart deal.

  6. #6
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    I have become more pro-Isai has the years went on.

    At one point, I was very angry at Pokerstars for their Black Friday FPP redemption shenanigans, which robbed me of $2k. I'm still pissed about that, but overall I think positively of the guy. At the time, nobody except for me and a few others cared about this Superman-3-esque FPP ripoff because Pokerstars was the only one of the three busted sites to actually pay people. So they basically got pats on the back or not stealing our money. I still stand by my criticisms there. However, it's also possible that the FPP debacle was the work of managers working under Isai, and he didn't even fully understand what was going on.

    But Isai did have a lot of positives, and those can't be ignored:

    - He was the pioneer of online poker tournament. Online poker existed before Pokerstars, but they were the first major site to have tournaments, and were also the first major site to have great, efficient, bug-free software.

    - By all accounts, he treated his employees very well.

    - He loved poker, and wanted to preserve the purity of poker on his site. While he could have made extra money by introducing jackpots, carnival games, and casino games to Pokerstars, he chose not to. He wanted Pokerstars about pure poker, and he gave up extra profits to keep to that vision.

    - He ran a high quality operation which fueled the online poker boom. This also helped other smaller sites get action. Online poker overall was much, much better and more active thanks to Isai Scheinberg.

    I am personally a lot more wealthy today thanks to the actions of Isai Scheinberg. I think that many people on this site can say that.

    Overall, he was excellent for poker, and in general seems to be a decent guy. Hats off to him.

  7. #7
    In April 2011, Ray Bitar found himself charged with five counts of bank fraud, money laundering, and other online gambling offenses. He faced a maximum prison sentence of 65 years.

    Bitar eventually took a plea bargain in 2013, pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud in violation of the UIGEA. He also agreed to forfeit $40 million from 18 bank accounts and surrender ownership in several homes, commercial properties in California, Indiana, and Bermuda.

    Plus he forfeited ownership and/or equity interest in 23 separate businesses connected to Full Tilt and nine other business entities not connected to Full Tilt.

    In exchange, Ray Bitar was able to stay out of prison.

    Under the federal sentencing guidelines, Ray Bitar should have gotten at least five years in prison.

    Ray Bitar had a serious heart condition.
    He was on the transplant list in California.

    If he is still alive, can the U.S. government change their mind and put him back in prison along with Howard Lederer?


  8. #8
    It's odd how they stole the FPP money yet everyone talks about what a saint the guy is.

    The FPP thievery vis a vis Isai the Saint is an incongruity which cannot be ignored.

    Almost impossible he is the nice loyal guy everyone claims he is. No way I am believing it.

  9. #9
    Micon is pruning little bonsai trees.

    Isai is seeking absolution

    The juice is gone

  10. #10
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    It's odd how they stole the FPP money yet everyone talks about what a saint the guy is.

    The FPP thievery vis a vis Isai the Saint is an incongruity which cannot be ignored.

    Almost impossible he is the nice loyal guy everyone claims he is. No way I am believing it.
    I don't understand it either, but honestly I think he wasn't involved with the minutiae like the details of the FPP cashout. He probably told his underllings to pay out the FPPs, they came to him with a plan, he said, "Sounds good, submit it to the government", and that was that.

    Most poker players were too dim and/or delusional to even realize they got cheated, even when I tried to explain it to them. I went round and round with idiots about this on 2+2. Even some normally sharp people were just in a haze on this one, refusing to see it for what it really was.

    To this day, almost nobody remembers that Stars even did anything wrong at all regarding the FPPs.

    Anyway I'm preparing radio right now, so I will be discussing this tonight as our top story.

  11. #11
    Isai Scheinberg is 73 years old and was a fugitive from justice for nearly 9 years.

    Even if he pays tens of millions in fines.

    He will face years in federal prison.



  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by TheXFactor View Post
    Isai Scheinberg is 73 years old and was a fugitive from justice for nearly 9 years.

    Even if he pays tens of millions in fines.

    He will face years in federal prison.



    There is 0.0 chance he sees the inside of a prison. None. He's never willingly coming back here for that. Just another big fine. Nothing to see here.

    There are two systems of justice in the country. The one for the haves and the one for the rest of us.

     
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by TheXFactor View Post
    Isai Scheinberg is 73 years old and was a fugitive from justice for nearly 9 years.

    Even if he pays tens of millions in fines.

    He will face years in federal prison.


    Care to make a wager on this? Escrow with Druff?

  14. #14
    Gold MrTickle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellafriend View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TheXFactor View Post
    Isai Scheinberg is 73 years old and was a fugitive from justice for nearly 9 years.

    Even if he pays tens of millions in fines.

    He will face years in federal prison.



    There is 0.0 chance he sees the inside of a prison. None. He's never willingly coming back here for that. Just another big fine. Nothing to see here.

    There are two systems of justice in the country. The one for the haves and the one for the rest of us.
    in the USA you get the justice you can afford

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by TheXFactor View Post
    Isai Scheinberg is 73 years old and was a fugitive from justice for nearly 9 years.

    Even if he pays tens of millions in fines.

    He will face years in federal prison.


    He's read The Micon System, he aint going to prison.
    When faced with a difficult decision, ask yourself "What would Micon do?", then do the opposite.

    PFA Rookie of the Year 2012: The Templar (unknown)
    2013: Jasep $5000+
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    2018: 4Dragons
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    2020: Covid19

  16. #16
    Platinum duped_samaritan's Avatar
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    We should start a go fund me for his legal fees.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    It's odd how they stole the FPP money yet everyone talks about what a saint the guy is.

    The FPP thievery vis a vis Isai the Saint is an incongruity which cannot be ignored.

    Almost impossible he is the nice loyal guy everyone claims he is. No way I am believing it.
    I don't understand it either, but honestly I think he wasn't involved with the minutiae like the details of the FPP cashout. He probably told his underllings to pay out the FPPs, they came to him with a plan, he said, "Sounds good, submit it to the government", and that was that.

    Most poker players were too dim and/or delusional to even realize they got cheated, even when I tried to explain it to them. I went round and round with idiots about this on 2+2. Even some normally sharp people were just in a haze on this one, refusing to see it for what it really was.

    To this day, almost nobody remembers that Stars even did anything wrong at all regarding the FPPs.

    Anyway I'm preparing radio right now, so I will be discussing this tonight as our top story.
    What incentive did some random employee have for fleecing all the US Players?

    Any way to figure out how much money they stole?

    You are never going to convince me some random, thieving FPP cash-out policy which benefited the owner 10s of millions of dollars (or more??) was initiated by anyone other than an owner.

    It was a wild time, he was probably scrounging around trying to save every dollar he could. How he avoided extradition is yet another mystery.

    There was a lot of fuckery in the whole thing imo. Why didn't all of Pokerstar's bank accounts all over the world get seized like Full Tilt's did, crippling their ability to pay?

    I get that Full Tilt was basically doing fractional reserve banking, but they didn't invent it - keeping only 10% of the customer's funds on deposit was standard operating procedure someone who would know told me.

    The whole thing is super odd, all the way down the Bitar's "ailment" that saw a high profile defendant escape prosecution.

  18. #18

  19. #19
    How much extra time in prison will he receive for being a fugitive of justice for over 9 years?

    The judge should make an example of him and show the world what happens when you commit criminal acts and flee from justice for nearly a decade.


  20. #20
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Looks like this wasn't a voluntary surrender.

    He got arrested in Switzerland in June 2019, which was a surprise to him. He attempted to fight extradition. Eventually he gave up the fight and voluntarily surrendered seven months later, in January 2020.

    It is not clear where he was during that 7 month time period. Perhaps stuck in Switzerland while this was being decided?

    Anyway, this might change the sweetness of the plea deal, as he didn't just decide to turn himself in. He would have had more leverage in that case, provided he negotiated before doing so (much like Micon did).

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