Ali Fazeli One of Two Poker Pros Hit with Drugs and Fraud Charges

January 28th, 2019 | by Greg Shaun

Two poker players have been busted for fraud and drugs, proving that those with skills at felt aren’t always able to bluff the law.

Erik Seidel

Former high stakes poker player Ali Fazeli has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for scamming the likes of Erik Seidel (pictured). (Image: WPT)

Feeling the wrath of the US legal system in recent days is former high stakes cash game regular, Ali Fazeli. After pleading guilty to wire fraud and accepting a plea deal back in July 2018, the California native has been slapped with an 18-month prison sentence.

Ali Fazeli Not So Super Super Bowl Scam

Fazeli was initially indicted back in March 2018 following evidence he’d scammed investors for more than $1.3 million. Promising to buy discounted tickets for the Super Bowl and soccer World Cup and sell them for a profit, it later emerged Fazeli had squandered the cash.

Among those caught up in the scam were poker pros Erik Seidel, John Juanda and Zachary Clarke. The trio moved to sue their former tablemate in an effort to recover their losses when it emerged any money from the alleged sales wasn’t forthcoming.

With the game up, the fraudster admitted his guilt. Entering a plea saying he felt “sick to his stomach” for the hurt he’d caused, the 49-year-old has since been given an 18-month sentence.

Had he not pleaded guilty and shown remorse, Fazeli could have been incarcerated for up to 20 years. However, in reviewing the case, a US District Court Judge David O. Carter handed down a reduced sentence on January 24.

In addition to time inside, Fazeli has to pay back $7.5 million in restitution to those affected by his crime.

Raskin Can’t Bluff Local Officers

In another case of poker players falling foul of the law, poker pro Micah Raskin has pleaded guilty to drug charges. Appearing in Federal Court on suspicion of distributing marijuana, Raskin held up his hands.

As reported by the Baltimore Sun, the 50-year-old was arrested after supplying the Baltimore County drug officers with the drug. Following his arrest, local police force seized 360 pounds of marijuana, including a selection of paraphernalia and loaded shotgun.

Branded a “dangerous individual,” Raskin appeared in court to answer for his crimes. Admitting he’d supplied drugs, the poker with almost $2 million in live earnings said he’s prepared to take “responsibility for his actions.”

Raskin has since been released under supervision ahead of sentencing in June. The minimum sentence for distributing marijuana in Baltimore and the surrounding areas is five years.


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