Poker High Roller Indicted over $6,000,000 Ticket-Flipping Scam

A Californian poker pro with over $2.2m in live tournament cashes is facing life behind bars after a ticket-flipping scam he was running conned investors out of millions of dollars while Seyed Reza Ali Fazeli gambled his way around Las Vegas with his ill-gotten gains.

Fazeli has been charged with two felony counts of wire fraud as a result of a business he ran, Summit Entertainment, which collected $6.2m from investors who had been convinced by Fazeli that the funds would be used to purchase World Cup and Superbowl tickets which would then be sold on at a profit on their behalf. However, court papers reveal that instead the money went to fund Fazeli's gambling addiction as he used part of the cash to pay off debts accrued at the Bellagio and the Aria and yet more to continue his gambling spree.

SBtickets

Above: Fazeli's scam involved pretending to purchase blocks of Superbowl tickets which he would then allegedly sell on at a profit for his investors.

FBI Special Agent B.C. Mason wrote in an affidavit filed with the court, “A large portion of investor funds were used for the personal benefit of Fazeli, including millions spent at Las Vegas casinos,”

The scam is believed to have taken place from at least May 2016 - May 2017. Coindientally (or not, as the case may be) these dates tie-in nicely with the 49 year old's biggest successes at the poker tables. Between June and December 2016 Fazeli won three Aria $25k High Roller tournaments as well as placing 2nd, 4th, and 5th in three others. In total he cashed for almost $1.3m in this period although it would appear that the casinos managed to end up with most of Fazeli's money in the end. During his hot streak at the Aria Fazeli was regularly besting the likes of Tom Marchese, Stephen Chidwick, Joe McKeehen, Ben "Ben86" Tollerene, Jake Schindler & others.

According to the Orange County Register, 'The indictment alleges that Fazeli falsely claimed to the investors that the NFL prohibited the resale of tickets, and that he was working on a “settlement” with the league.' although we now know that the only settlement Mr Fazeli was making was to settle his own gambling debts.

Fazeli was arrested by the Feds on February 14th before being released on $120,000 bail. He is due to arraign on 26th March and could face up to 40 years in prison if found guilty.

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