Ira Rubin, who was indicted on multiple counts of conspiracy and bank fraud, has pleaded guilty on some of those counts.
Ira Rubin, 53 years of age, was accused of processing gambling funds illegally for PokerStars, Absolute Poker, and Full Tilt Poker, three major online poker rooms that were offered paid online poker services to US online poker players. It may be recalled that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) had cracked down on these online poker rooms, seized their domain names, and indicted their chief executive officers on multiple counts of bank fraud, illegal gambling, and conspiracy. Following the crackdown, the companies withdrew their services from the US.
Rubin has pleaded guilty in relation to three of the nine criminal complaints filed against him at a federal court based in Manhattan.
Dressed in a prison uniform, Rubin pleaded guilty before Gabriel Gorenstein, the US Magistrate Judge, and since he has pleaded guilty, he will get a prison term of anywhere between 18 months and 24 months. Had he not pleaded guilty, but proved to be guilty, the punishment would have been more severe.
According to US prosecutors, Absolute Poker, PokerStars, and Full Tilt Poker had devised innumerable ways to dodge the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which did not actually criminalize online gambling, but made it illegal for banks and financial institutions to process funds related to online gambling. Since the three major poker rooms found ways to dodge the law, they could continue to offer online gambling services in the US.
According to the US government, Ira Rubin operated from Costa Rica, where he had fled to avoid being arrested in the US back in 2008. From Costa Rica, he assisted the three major poker rooms to transfer billions of dollars related to online poker gaming in the guise of payments made to fake online companies. In order to run his payment processing business, Rubin created innumerable fake companies such as electronics stores, golf stores, and others.
In 2011, the US DoJ arrested Rubin. He was one of the ten others who were indicted, following the federal crack down of mid April last year, during which a number of key people associated with the three poker rooms were arrested. Rubin had tried fleeing to Thailand, but hadn’t been successful.
Rubin has a long criminal record, having begun his career early in 1970. He stands indicted in 24 separate cases.