As per the latest news reports, World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Gal Yifrach has been charged with two counts of felony. The news reports further add that the US Federal Reserve System (FRS) is looking at this Los Angeles high-stakes poker player for operating an illegal gambling ring.
An indictment was filed on March 3 in the United States District Court Eastern District of California which stated that Yifrach allegedly made money through an illegal route. In the 11-page indictment, the Israeli-born poker pro is charged with one count for doing an illegal gambling business and another count for conspiracy to commit money laundering in the United States.
Not many know that Yifrach is a brand ambassador for Hustler Casino Live (HCL). The co-owner of HCL, Nick Vertucci told PokerNews, “I am shocked to hear this. There was no indication of anything when he played in our games. Gal always seemed like just a regular nice guy. It saddens me to hear of this.”
As per the indictment filed in court, Yifrach (from around January 2018 till January 2022) was involved in illegal gambling business pertaining to “supplying, operating, and maintaining video slot machines and devices.”
Furthermore, US authorities reportedly state that Yifrach had laundered money in several ways. One way was to exchange the revenue generated from the alleged illegal gambling activities for casino chips at a “casino in Bell Gardens, California.” This casino is referred to as “Casino 1” in the indictment.
The high-stakes player allegedly took those casino chips into the casino for exchange and got cheques in return. Yifrach would then deposit these cheques into his bank account, state the news reports.
The media reports further add that Yifrach collected the alleged cash proceeds of an “illegal gambling business from various locations in the Eastern District of California and elsewhere, and transported those cash proceeds to other locations in California.”
As per news reports, the federal authorities were tipped off about Yifrach’s illegal activities and were monitoring the WSOP bracelet winner’s communications on his phone. As per section 17 of the indictment, both Yifrach and Ifrah had “frequently sent electronic messages to each other to coordinate the transactions.”
The indictment also mentions a few instances of his alleged criminal operations. Yifrach and Ifrah had reportedly discussed via text messages taking money from the high-stakes player’s safe “in order to give a total of $150,000 to an individual in exchange for casino chips from CASINO 1.” This incident reportedly occurred between 24th and 27th October, 2018.
Further, as per the indictment filed, on January 8, 2020 Yifrach informed Ifrah via an electronic message that they need to “consult with someone about cleansing the cash” and Ifrah replied by stating that “it would be best to continue registering as an employee of a company and giving checks for cash.”
If Yifrach is convicted of the charges levelled against him, he faces prison time up to five years for illegal gambling and up to 20 years jail time for the money laundering charge.
With a Masters’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, Mrinal Gujare currently is cruising through an exciting genre of writing and editing at Gutshot Magazine. Apart from being an Editor, Mrinal is an avid reader and a former contemporary dancer. She is also perennially hungry for intriguing scoops from across the globe. No holds barred is the rule Mrinal follows in life.
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