Poker player Cory Zeidman has been charged with several sports betting-related offenses, the federal government announced on Wednesday.
A two-count indictment was unsealed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Wednesday charging Zeidman, 61, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and a money laundering conspiracy as part of a “sports betting fraud scheme” he allegedly operated from Long Island and Florida.
Zeidman was arrested Wednesday in Florida.
“As alleged, Zeidman defrauded his victims, stole their life savings and persuaded them to empty their retirement accounts to invest in his bogus sports betting group, all so he could spend it on an international vacation, a residence of several million dollars and poker tournaments,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace.
Zeidman reportedly ran an operation that “placed advertisements on national radio to entice victims to retain the organization for sports betting advice.”
Federal authorities claimed that Zeidman had convinced people that sports betting could be risk-free. It’s unclear how anyone could be fooled into thinking sports betting was risk-free, but federal authorities said Zeidman told people he had “inside information.”
The alleged victims paid fees for sports betting tips, the government claimed.
“Many victims lost their life savings” betting on sports with Zeidman’s advice, the government said.
“As alleged, Zeidman preyed on individuals who were tricked into believing he had inside information that would lead them to easy money. In reality, he was selling only lies and misinformation – scamming millions of victims along the way, leaving their lives in financial ruin and their bank accounts empty,” said HSI Acting Special Agent in Charge of New York Ricky J. Patel.
Zeidman allegedly used a number of aliases in the scheme, including Richard Barnes, Walter Barr, Mr. Carlyle, Ray Palmer, Rick Cash, Elliot Stern, Gordon Howard, David Coates, Simon Coates, Paul Knox, Mark Lewis, Joel Orenstein and Steve Nash.
“Some of the company names used in the defendant’s scheme were Gordon Howard Global, Ray Palmer Group and Grant Sports International,” federal authorities said.
The federal government is asking “anyone who believes they have been a victim of the alleged crimes” to contact authorities at 1-866-347-2423.
World Series of Poker bracelet winner Zeidman is perhaps best known in the poker world for a famous hand he played with poker legend Jennifer Harman in the 2005 Main Event.