Embezzling Broker Sentenced To 6 Months Of Poker

A broker who embezzled from his clients to fund his gambling addiction will be allowed to avoid the pokie and play poker instead.

The judge is letting him participate in poker tournaments so that he can earn money to pay back his victims, to whom he allegedly owes more than $400,000. The deal requires that he makes $7,500 a month in payments.

Man playing poker to avoid prison [WABC via Dealbreaker]


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  1. selianth says:

    Uhhhhhh. Something seems a little off about this.

    • DariusC says:

      Nothing off, if he were to pay them back with interest, I see no problem with it. I don’t want my tax dollars paying for him and neither do you. If he works to pay them back with interest, he served his time. I guarantee nobody will disagree that we don’t need to pay for his jail time.

      • Elcheecho says:

        of course there’s something off. he has to be good at gambling to pay off his debts. if he were good at gambling, he wouldn’t have to embezzle to fund his habit.

  2. snowtires says:

    Uh… huh?

  3. herbie says:

    Please let this be a joke. Please.

    • common_sense84 says:

      Nope. The guy swears poker is his job and he can make money. So the judge is calling his bluff.

      When he fails to make that first payment, a warrant will be issued for his arrest.

  4. smo0 says:


    Uh, if this is going to go forward – then why don’t we have people play in the poker tournaments to fund bailout funds.

    If that is legit, then so is this idea.

    • The Marionette says:

      Because poker is (usually) for people who just want to earn some extra money (and of course are good at the game). His sentencing is just a form of irony, it’s not a regularly-occurring sentencing.

  5. sonneillon says:

    If he was good at poker he wouldn’t have needed that money to begin with. This guy is screwed.

    • craptastico says:

      my thoughts exactly. this judge should be fired.

      • Kitten Mittens says:

        It was a deal with the prosecutors (the judge did approve it). Either way, he’s going to jail, just depends on how delayed it will be. He doesn’t win $7,500 a month, he’s going to jail sooner.

      • common_sense84 says:

        You should be fired.

        The man swears this is his income source. There are career gamblers who do live by gambling. Although they do not regularly make 7.5k a month. The goal is to get people their money back, if this is all this guy can do, the judge would be negligent not to allow it. Any money paid in is money to go back to the victims. If he fails to make a payment, he goes to jail.

        • sonneillon says:

          I am sure the man did swear that, but the empirical evidence of him embezzling 400,000 dollars to fuel his poker habit says differently.

        • craptastico says:

          i should be fired? it’s pretty idiotic to assume that somebody who’s so bad at poker that he had to embezzle $400,000 from his clients, can then win that money back. he should pay back whatever money he has, not piss it away on poker.

  6. Nakko says:


  7. J Dig says:

    I read the headline on the main page and thought it was a clever pun…

    But alas, just a totally ridiculous court ruling from our awesome legal system.

  8. frak says:

    This is the kind of deal that only large corporations get. Is this guy’s name AIG McChase?

  9. BeerFox says:

    So…the guy’s known to have a gambling problem, and the Judge basically offered to let him go double-or-nothing on a video bonus question?

  10. JRules says:

    This is actually genius, he is still going to jail for 6 years, they are just delaying it by 6 months so he can make money to pay back the people. if he misses 2 payments in a row then hes going to jail for 12 years. This is a great idea.

    • cardigan says:

      So in effect, he’s going double or nothing on his sentence. Wait, what?

      This mixing of the American legal system and gambling is giving me a really bad feeling.

      • Megalomania says:

        No. He’s going double or single. No matter what, he goes to jail. A sentence without jail time would mean “embezzle all you want so long as you give it back if you’re caught”. The deal is that he gets six months to pay back the money on installments, and if he can’t he serves 12 years, and if he does make good on repaying his theft he gets 6. He just happens to be planning on trying to get the money via gambling.

  11. FatLynn says:

    Nobody makes money in poker tournaments. Sorry.

    • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

      My Full Tilt and Poker Stars accounts contradict your statement.

      I’ve only increased my starting bankroll 600% in a year playing small tournaments. I know several people who clear thousands a month multi-tabling the larger buy-in tournaments.

      I don’t pay my bills with my poker money, but I know many professional players who do.

  12. ryber says:

    So a gambling addict, who embezzled money to fund his addiction, will be able to gamble in order to try to earn money to pay back his debts incurred due to gambling.

    Cyclic redundancy check failure.

  13. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    This makes sense to me, but only if the broker was actually a professional poker player.

    For example, if Phil Ivy (Look him up, he’s cool) has to pay back money to other people, it would make perfect sense to allow him to play poker to get that money, because it’s his profession.

    Now, if this broker is truly at a professional level of playing, even if it’s not his official occupation, I would have problem allowing him to utilize his legal skills to pay the required payments.

    • peebozi says:

      Your comment makes sense. The fact that he couldn’t win before (he lost money he embezzled) makes the court ruling seem like something from the middle east (you know, backwards and all funct up).

  14. D0rk says:

    As others have said, if he was a professional poker player, this will be of little issue. Either he’d have the money, or he could easily make it back. This guy is clearly not a professional, as he had to steal to fund his bankroll. If he was a professional player, I could support the judges decision, but as is, I can’t.

  15. GyroMight says:

    I smell a sitcom!

  16. peebozi says:

    To Clarify: The guy’s a banker (I assume) and his company has already bribed the judge (I assume). He will also steal the house’s rake in the name of “fees” (I assume)

  17. coren says:

    Wait, what?

  18. H3ion says:

    Who’s funding his stash?

    • howie_in_az says:

      That, and why is he only allowed to pay back a fraction of what he owes? The article says he owes over $400,000, but he’s going to play poker for 6 months and pay $7500 each month, which comes out to be $45,000.

  19. diasdiem says:

    Rounders 2: Electric Boogaloo

  20. Mecharine says:


  21. yabiman says:

    The sentence was a plea bargain. If the guy misses two $7500 payments, he agrees to go to jail for up to 12 years. Any bets on his chances of avoiding jail? Meanwhile, the taxpayers avoid the cost of a trial and hopefully some cash will be collected toward repaying the victims.

    • Johnny Rotten says:

      I’ll bet everything I have (and I’ll embezzle my company to cover the bet) that he won’t make it.

      Now wouldn’t that be ironic.

  22. dolemite says:

    That’s got to be some serious stress. Take the regular stress of Poker, but not only is your money on the line, but you go to jail if you lose.

    Also…isn’t this like letting the crack addict smoke crack to pay back a loan?

  23. Stickdude says:

    It’s possible that he’s good at poker and his gambling addiction has to do with table games. He certainly wouldn’t be the first person in that position.

    I’d rather see the payments structured differently, though – the $7500 is the minimum he has to pay back each month, but if he wins more than that (makes the final table in a major tournament, for example), he has to pay everything over and above a certain bankroll.

  24. Rachacha says:

    So a gambling addict, who embezzled money to support his addiction is sendenced to a life of playing poker to earn back the money that he embezzled from clients so that he can repay his clients. Where is he going to get the money to support his payback sentence?
    Perhaps the Myans were correct…maybe the world really is coming to an end in 2012

    • Mister Krieg says:

      The Mayans never predicted that, actually. To the Mayans 2012 would be when the Long Count calander ticks up by 1. It’s like the speedometer rolling over. :P

  25. haggis for the soul says:

    Double or nothing on the jail time if he loses?

  26. stock2mal says:

    Why doesn’t he have have to do this in addition to serving prison time? We need to start executing white collar criminals.

    • Hoss says:

      He is

    • Mr. Pottersquash says:

      he will once he is done. He cant play poker while in jail, and playing poker may actually get the money back. whats the problem?…

      oh yea, its like letting an illegal prostitute turn tricks in order to pay her bail.

  27. Hoss says:

    How the fuk will the court know he’s winning at the table and not stealing to make payments? And who profits from the movie deal?

  28. Conformist138 says:

    Ok, I’m sorry Consumerist. I’m done, I take issue with your really terrible synopsis. This isn’t the first time, either. This site does this a ton- leaving out majorly important details from the original article. Yes, we should all read the original article, but the fact is most just don’t and won’t. So, they now think some jerk got to play a game to avoid any punishment after stealing nearly half a million dollars.

    But, as so many have pointed out: This man is still likely going to jail. His sentencing is just postponed to see if he can pay the money back. If he can, that will reduce his sentence, but it’s not gauranteed he’ll not still go to prison. If he misses two payments, it’s go straight to prison for 12 years, do not pass go, do not collect $200. This guy is still facing years behind bars, even if he makes good on repaying every penny.