Paul Phua’s fight to clear his name in connection with an alleged illegal betting ring took another blow earlier today after it emerged that his son, Darren, will be entering a guilty plea in the coming days.
According to a report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Phua junior will bargain his way out of the investigation by entering a guilty plea to misdemeanor charges linked to the transmission of wagering information.
As part of his plea, Phua will give up $125,000 to the US authorities as well as a selection of high-powered computer equipment that was seized after the FBI raided his suite inside Caesars in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Phua’s decision to plead guilty comes after five other men originally arrested by the FBI accepted convictions for lesser charges. As yet it’s unclear when Phua will formally enter his plea, but the Review-Journal is speculating that it could be submitted by next Thursday before US District Judge Andrew Gordon performs a status check on the case.
In contrast to his son, Phua is maintaining a position of defiance and will continue to fight charges of running an illegal betting scheme. Despite efforts by his legal team to have the case dismissed following a ruling that the FBI’s July 2014 was unwarranted, it seems as though a planned court hearing will take place on April 13.
The original incident, which took place in July 2014, involved a raid on two luxury suites inside Caesars by the FBI. According to reports, Phua and his associates had been running an illegal sports betting operation worth hundreds of millions of dollars out of the hotel. Allegedly taking bets on the World Cup, the operation was quickly shutdown but police believe the betting ring is linked to a similar operation that was busted in Macau.
So far the ongoing saga has seen a number of accusations leveled at Phua, including possible links to organized crime and the 14K Triads. Phua has denied such ties and has even had the backing of the former head of Malaysia’s police force. However, this statement only led to more problems for the high rolling poker player after Malaysian media outlets questioned the notion thatÂ Phua had “assisted the Government of Malaysia on projects affecting our national security.”
Despite facing some serious charges, a number of professional poker players have shown their support for Phua. After the businessman was arrested, Phil Ivey and Andrews Robl anted up the $2.5 million necessary to bail their high stakes acquaintance out of jail.