Russian Mob Ran Illegal Poker Games for Celebrities In Trump Tower!2 years ago
It was a series of raids straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster, with a billionaire art dealer’s showroom being busted by the Feds, $2million worth of gaming chips being discovered in an apartment in Trump Tower, and the indictment of one of the most famous female names in poker, Molly Bloom, who organised high-stakes private poker games involving the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Tobey Maguire!
In all, almost three dozen individuals have been charged for ‘racketeering and various other counts’ connected to illegal gambling rings which stretch from New York to Moscow and beyond – with the Russian mafia firmly at the center of the massive investigation and follows a similar though smaller bust in November of last year.
The New York Connection
According to NBCNewYork, ‘the investigation by the FBI’s Eurasian Organized Crime Squad revealed high-stakes poker dens and large volume off-shore sports wagering operations were being operated as part of the illegal gambling activity,’ with one of the alleged ringleaders connected to the illegal New York network named as billionaire art dealer Hillel ‘Helly’ Nahmad.
Nahmad, according to the indictment, ran a “high-stakes illegal gambling business run out of New York City and Los Angeles that catered primarily to multimillionaire and billionaire clients,” with sources claiming that "the poker dens were often frequented by high-profile New Yorkers from the business, sports and entertainment fields."
The Poker Princess
Molly Bloom’s charges ‘relate to her conduct between 2010 and the present,’ according to the New York Times, who added that:
"The indictment did not name any of the high-profile players who investigators said were involved in the poker games held in New York and Los Angeles."
As reported previously on these pages by Charles Rettmuller and myself:
"The upcoming Hollywood movie starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, "Molly's Game", is the story of Bloom, the poker princess who hosted high stakes poker games for Hollywood celebrities and wealthy businessmen. Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire were some of the players who frequented Bloom's games that were sometimes held at swanky hotels."
The Russian Connection
The second racketeering conspiracy which the FBI have sought indictments for relate to the overseas operation which prosecutors claim Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov is the main player – ‘a high-ranking vor or "thief in law" within the Russian Mafia’.
The connection with the New York busts sees Tokhtakhounov’s alleged partner in crime Vadim Trincher’s son, Ilya Trincher, working alongside Nahmad the billionaire art dealer and gallery owner. The tangled web is believed to have seen over $100million in illegal money being laundered between the two inter-connected underground networks.
According to the Associated Press, Vadim Trincher was recorded in a phone conversation ‘warning a customer who owed money that 'he should be careful, lest he be tortured or found underground'. It was Trincher Snr’s $5million Trump Tower apartment in which the FBI discovered $75,000 in cash and $2million in Bellagio Casino chips.
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