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 bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling 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 from Switzerland to New York 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.
The US government passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006, PokerStars continued to run its business by expanding its base of American customers and soon shined as the world’s largest online poker site. 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 also charged Scheinberg and other executives of the firm from Full Tilt Poker and Absolute 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 the assets of Full Tilt Poker. The firm also offered the government $184 million to make American Full Tilt players whole following 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.