LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A World Series of Poker bracelet winner is one of four Los Angeles-area men who have been charged with an illegal video game and money laundering operation.
Gal Yafrich, 35, a frequent player of ‘Live at the Bike’ poker games and 2018 World Series of Poker bracelet winner, and Nick Shkolnik, 39, have both been charged with operating an illegal gambling business . Yafrich, born in Israel, also faces money laundering charges along with Shalom Ifrah, 32, and Schneur Zalman Getzel Rosenfeld, 33.
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The four defendants named in the federal indictment were arrested Wednesday. Yifrach and Ifrah were held pending trial, but Shkolnik and Rosenfeld were released subject to pretrial supervision and other conditions.
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According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, Yifrach, Shkolnik and Yosef Yitzchak Beshari, who faces charges elsewhere, ran an illegal gambling business in the Sacramento area with video slot machines. , then laundered the proceeds of the transaction by exchanging cash for chips or checks at a gambling establishment identified by federal prosecutors as “a casino in Bell Gardens.” There is a casino in the town of Bell Gardens – Bicycle Hotel and Casino, which hosts the online poker show “Live at the Bike”.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the men involved in the plot allegedly made cash deposits of no more than $10,000 in banks to avoid federal transaction reporting requirements. Yifrach, according to the federal indictment, also used funds to invest in real estate in Los Angeles.
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Yafrich and Shkolnik each face a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for running an illegal gambling business. Yafrich, Ifrah and Rosenfeld additionally face a maximum legal sentence of 20 years in prison each and a fine of $500,000. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of assets including over US$500,000 and three properties in Los Angeles.