William Barbalat and Kirill Rapoport both entered pleas of guilty for conducting an illegal gambling business and aiding in unlawful activity in New York City — which included high-stakes poker games. The The New York Daily News has reported that two more men – Justin “Boosted J” Smith and Edwin Ting, both well-known in high-stakes poker cirles – are expected to enter guilty pleas on September 4th. Smith is expected to plead guilty to the charge of taking payment for Internet gambling; Ting will admit to operating an illegal gambling business. Both could serve up to five years in prison if convicted.
Smith and Ting were among the 34 men indicted on illegal gambling charges in April of this year, when the FBI’s Eurasian Organized Crime Squad executed federal search warrants in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and Philadelphia due to the association of the illegal gambling ring being tied to Russian organized crime.
Other well-knowns in the high-stakes poker world: Abe Mosseri, Bill Edler, Vadim Trincher, Peter Feldman, and John Hanson were charged in the indictments.
Ting's poker resume includes being a regular in high-stakes cash games — Ivey’s Room at the Aria in Las Vegas. His notable poker tournament finishes: 99th place in the 2008 World Poker Tour $25,000 Championship for $39,570. Smith's career tournament earnings are $2.1 million with a runner-up result in the 2010 WPT $10,000 Bellagio Cup for $594,755; third in the 2009 WPT $15,000 Bellagio Cup for $464,870; and fourth in the 2011 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic $100,000 High Roller for $289,440.
The New York Daily News states that Smith's and Ting's lawyers refused to comment.
Image courtesy of PokerNews.com.