Poker Pro Ali Fazeli Pleads Guilty in $6.2million Ponzi Scheme

4 years ago
Poker Pro Ali Fazeli Pleads Guilty in $6.2million Ponzi Scheme
11 Jul

The poker pro whose $multimillion SuperBowl ticket scam included Erik Seidel, John Juanda and Zach Clark among his Ponzi scheme victims has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and accepted a plea deal after his trial was postponed earlier this year

The Californian pro, full name Seyed Reza Ali Fazeli, was indicted on wire fraud charges by a federal grand jury in California earlier this year after conning investors out of at least $6.2million, money which he spent on high-roller poker buy-ins and paying off debts.

Seidel and Clark were each fleeced for $500,000, while Juanda invested $300,000 in the scheme which was meant to see Fazeli buy 2017 Superbowl tickets and split profits from the resale 50/50 with the pros, Fazeli instead living the high life at their expense.

California Federal Court documents seen by show that Fazeli entered a guilty plea last month, admitting to ‘transferring about $1.8 million of his ill-gotten gains to the Aria casino via cashier’s checks’ according to Brian Pempus.

FBI Special Agent BC Mason earlier stated that, “A large portion of investor funds were used for the personal benefit of Fazeli, including millions spent at Las Vegas casinos,” following Fazeli’s arrest on February 14th for the year-long scam.

Aside from the well-known pros who were taken for an expensive ride, Fazeli was alleged to have conned $5million from a trust for the Sembler family in St Petersburg, while another firm – Ticket Man – claimed to have paid the poker player $2.5million.

The Aria Casino is also suing the disgraced pro for unpaid casino markers in a Nevada court, Cardplayer’s Pempus writing that ‘The casino extended him credit 34 separate times’  - totalling $2.1million – of which ‘Fazeli returned $1 million of the casino credit, which leaves him still on the hook for $1.1 million’.

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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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