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Isai Scheinberg of PokerStars Gets Time Served and $30000 Fine In Socially Distanced SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon
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SDNY, Sept 23 -- When Isai Scheinberg, after being indicted in 2011 and recently returning from Switzerland voluntarily though following an extradition request appeared in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on February 20, the mood was strangely cordial.

  Now on September 23 he has received a sentence of time served and a $30,000 fine. More on Patreon, here.

  SDNY Judge Lewis A. Kaplan set a trial date, of October 19 - but told the defendant's well known counsel Paul Shechtman he expected the case reach a disposition before then, and that he'd assign the plea to the Magistrates Court.   

 On March 25, Inner City Press was there in the Mag Court, relocated due to Coronavirus to large courtroom 24B, when Scheinberg came to plead guilty. He told Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave he has a masters degree in mathematics, and that he had taken a test for the virus.

  His letter from the US Attorney's Office, dated March 3, put his guideline sentences at twelve to eighteen months.

  Now on September 23, Scheinberg was sentenced by Judge Kapan, with both wearing masks. Inner City Press was again there, and masked too, as the only media present.

  Shechtman described Scheinberg's good works, and making-whole of the victims of other online poker platforms. (He said a clerk in the SDNY arraignment's part had thanks Scheinberg for that).

  Scheinberg's wife of 52 years Dora was in the courtroom too, as well as Shechtman's co-counsel Barry Boss. Scheinberg read a statement, how he built his life in Israel then Canada, and that the felony conviction will haunt him forever.

The Assistant US Attorney said that there had been red flags as to Federal law, but that online poker had clearly been illegal under the laws of many states including New York.

Judge Kaplan said, I don't condone what you did but the world is made of fallible people. It was a big mistake but should not ruin what remains of your life.

  Judge Kaplan asked Scheinberg to rise, and imposed a sentence of time served and a $30,000 fine. He added the $100 special assessment and said he would work tomorrow on help get Mr. Scheinberg's passport back to him.

   It all relates back to so-called "Black Friday" in April, 2011 whic saw indictments involving Scheinberg's PokerStars, as well as Full Tilt Poker, Ultimate Bet, and Absolute Poker.

  Scheinberg spent years living both in Canada and on the Isle of Man. SDNY prosecutors started extradition proceedings during a visit by Scheinberg to Switzerland. He was released on one million dollars bail.The case is US v. Scheinberg, 10-cr-336 (Kaplan). 


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