Isai Scheinberg, the notoriously famous founder of renowned online poker app PokerStars, has surrendered himself to the U.S authorities after being accused and charged for planning illegal gambling, bank fraud, and money laundering by the United States federal government. Scheinberg has to plead not guilty and was released on a bail of $1 million. He has surrendered his passports as well.
According to the reports, Scheinberg was taken into custody by the officials while he was traveling to New York from Switzerland on January 17, 2020. Reportedly, an extradition order was passed for Scheinberg a few months back when he moved to Switzerland. PokerStars was established in 2001 by Scheinberg and in no time, the platform became quite popular amongst the people who loved the game and didn’t hesitate to invest their funds while playing.
In 2006, the US government passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, PokerStars expanded its business by increasing its base of American clients and soon shined as the world’s biggest online poker website. However, things turned against the poker platform when in April 2011, the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York confiscated the PokerStars.com domain name. The officials not only charged Scheinberg but also some more employees from Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker.
Interestingly, soon after the proceedings, PokerStars re-acquired its domain name and started operating its business outside the US territory. In 2012, the firm had to pay a whopping amount of money, nearly $731 M, to the government to settle the lawsuit filed against them. This helped the company to win back Full Tilt Poker’s assets. The firm also offered the government $184M to make American Full Tilt players whole after the firm’s downfall in the light of Black Friday.
In 2014, the leader sold the firm to a group chaired by David Baazov for $4.9 billion. Federal prosecutor, Olga Zverovich stated that Scheinberg is in talks with the government for quite some time now.