High Stakes Poker Player Faces Truckload of Evidence of Illegal Slots Business, Money Laundering
A high stakes poker player, Yaniv Yifrach, has found himself in hot water after evidence reportedly surfaced regarding his involvement in an illegal slots business and money laundering. The evidence reportedly includes recordings and documents relating to the seizure of electronic devices.
Yifrach allegedly ran an illegal gambling operation that involved supplying, operating, and maintaining video slot machines and devices before laundering the profits. Authorities discovered that Yifrach’s strategy for cleaning the money involved purchasing chips from individuals at a legitimate casino in Bell Gardens, California, and then exchanging them for checks at the property. He would then deposit the checks into his bank account and use the funds to purchase real estate.
The authorities were able to gather evidence by listening in on Yifrach’s calls and messages, and often observed communications about the cleaning of money between Yifrach and his co-defendants. On one occasion, he allegedly swapped more than $200,000 worth of chips at the casino for checks.
Yifrach now faces charges related to the running of an illegal gambling operation and conspiracy to commit money laundering. If found guilty, he could face as many as 25 years in federal prison and $750,000 in fines. The illegal slots business allegedly operated from January 2018 to January 2022, with three other people also charged in the case.
Yifrach was a successful poker player, with over $1.5m in cash winnings at World Series of Poker events throughout his lifetime, and winning a bracelet in 2018. He has also appeared on the “Live at the Bike!” poker streaming show.
In the original forfeiture complaint, the government was looking to seize nearly $320,000 in cash and about 4.25 bitcoin from Yifrach, which amounts to $170,296 at today’s market price for the cryptocurrency. Despite initially being deemed a flight risk, Yifrach is currently out on bond.
It remains to be seen how this legal battle will play out for Yifrach, but for now, he is facing a mountain of evidence and the potential for significant punishment if found guilty. The stakes are high in this high-profile case.