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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

Richard Lee Agrees to Plea, Forfeits WSOP Millions

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Poker player and alleged bookmaker Richard Lee agreed to a plea deal that involved the forfeiture of more than $2.2 million. The sixth place finisher at the 2006 World Series of Poker main event won over $2.8 million in prize money, but the vast majority of that cash, along with cars and other property, was seized shortly thereafter at his home in San Antonio, Texas, based on allegations of bookmaking and purchasing items with the profits from a criminal operation.

On Tuesday, October 16, Lee agreed to a plea deal that reduced his charges to one minor charge of keeping a place for gambling. Three others charged in the case, Lawrence Davenport, Matthew Winslow, Daniel Ortiz, also entered no contest pleas to the same misdemeanor count to avoid jail time. Each will also be responsible for paying fines and court fees in the amount of $2,094, in addition to unsupervised probation for one month.

Prior to a hearing at the beginning of October in which official charges were filed by District Attorney Susan Reed, the group of men had waited nearly a full year for resolution to the case. Arraignment was scheduled to take place on November 7th, but when all parties agreed to plea deals, there is only paperwork left to be filed.

While much of the cash seized in the original raid is being retained by the court, some items are being returned, such as Lee's Lexus, Mercedes, and Toyota 4Runner, along with numerous electronic and luxury items taken from his home.

After the deal was solidified, Lee said, "I'm glad it's over. Now I need to go win another poker tournament." Reportedly, he is on his way to Las Vegas to play in the Caesars Palace Classic.

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