Poker player Alleged to Have Funded Tournaments with Scam Money

5 months ago
Poker player Alleged to Have Funded Tournaments with Scam Money
27 Nov

A Minnesota man faces a lengthy jail term for allegedly swindling an investor out of $35,000, which he then used to fund his poker career across the USA, a trip to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure thrown in for good measure.

Semin Topalovic, 26, from Twin Cities is alleged to have conned more than $300,000 from unsuspecting victims over the past few years by posing as an options trader, a $190,000 scam back in 2015 seeing him supposedly barred from such activities, but to no avail.

In August this year he received $155,000 “purportedly for options trading” as reported by award-winning poker journalist Haley Hintze on

The investor quickly became suspicious of Topalovic when there was little or no follow-up and contacted the authorities, who found that Topalovic had previous – and discovered that he had emptied the investment fund for personal use.

That personal use was often related to playing poker, the charges filed stating:

‘Agents found information in open source material that shows that TOPALOVIC travels around and competes in Texas Hold ’em Tournaments all over the U.S.

The Hendon Mob screenshots (below) also shows that Topalovic traveled widely to ply his love of poker, using the alleged ill-gotten gains…

Topalovic’s sister, Armela, is believed to have been the conduit for the money – several accounts and multiple withdrawals in her name peppering the court documents, although she has yet to be charged with any crime.

 Hintze also reveals that the conman also had “dreams of being a rap star and record producer, under the name “Billions” (him) and “East Bloc Records”. He now faces up to 25 years in prison and up to $110,000 in fines on the two felony counts.

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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