UK Court Finds Poker Author Guilty of Fraud
A UK court has found poker author Nigel Goldman guilty of being cheated by eBay customers. He has been convicted of running an illegal rare coins business.
Goldman, the writer of “Make a Million from Online Poker,” could now be extradited to Spain, where he stands accused of running a Ponzi scheme and stealing millions of dollars from unsuspecting investors.
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Goldman is a self-styled playboy who left Spain and went to the UK when Spanish law-enforcement agencies began investigating complaints of a Ponzi scheme from the expatriate society.
He had been quite successful playing poker in Spain and even reached the finals of the Marbella Classic once. Since his total tournament winnings over 10 years is only $37,000, one can safely conclude that he got most of his money from non-poker sources.
His book is actually a guide for poker beginners and cannot teach players how to make millions playing the game.
On Jan 8, the Reading Crown Court will sentence Goldman for his involvement in the eBay rare coins scam. Goldman knew a bit about rare coins and he used this knowledge to advertise South African krugerrands and gold sovereigns. Unsuspecting customers would pay for these coins, but never receive them.
In Spain, Antonio Flores, who is functioning as the legal representative of his Ponzi scheme victims, has already initiated extradition proceedings against Goldman. If Goldman is extradited and convicted, he could get a 10-year term in prison.
Flores said: “The man is a pathological swindler. He is narcissistic, incredibly vain, pompous, and a criminal. All those things come together.”
A former food critic and radio personality, Goldman had once boasted that his social circle comprised James Hewitt, the former lover of Princess Diana, and Mark Thatcher, the son of Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister of the UK. He has already served prison terms for fraud and has reported his experiences in another poker book titled “High Stakes: How I Blew £14 Million.”
When he got into trouble in Spain, he got a house in a tiny English village and began driving an inexpensive vehicle. He also sent a former employer a text message: “I did not set out to be a thief.”
The Birmingham Mail has quoted his former associate of saying: “The man couldn’t lie straight in bed. He’s incorrigible. But the problem is he’s so bloody likeable. The man could charm the knickers off a Carmelite nun.”