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Former WSOP bracelet winner Cory Zeidman charged with fraud, money laundering in sports betting scheme

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 5/26/2022 Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY
A dealer tosses out a card during the 2009 World Series of Poker at the Rio hotel-casino in Las Vegas. © for USA TODAY A dealer tosses out a card during the 2009 World Series of Poker at the Rio hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

A former World Series of Poker bracelet winner has been arrested for his alleged role in a sports betting scheme that collected more than $25 million from victims.

In a two-count indictment filed May 17, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York charged Cory Zeidman, of Boca Raton, Florida with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering for his alleged role in the scheme, which ran from around January 2004 to March 2020, according to prosecutors.

According to the indictment, Zeidman and his associates placed radio ads in various markets "which falsely advertised a 'sophisticated white-collar approach to gathering sports information' and promised 'wagering as investing, not high-risk gambling.' " Listeners were instructed to call a phone number, where they heard "among other things, that certain sporting events were predetermined, or 'fixed,' " and that Zeidman and his associates "had 'privileged' or 'inside' information" from team physicians and television executives, per prosecutors. Listeners were asked to pay for this information, which Zeidman and his associates claimed would lead to no-risk wagers.

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According to prosecutors, several victims sent payments totaling in excess of $25 million through interstate wire transfers and private and commercial carriers. Zeidman and his associates allegedly used company names like "Gordon Howard Global," "Ray Palmer Group" and "Grant Sports International" as part of the scheme.

"As alleged, Zeidman defrauded his victims, stole their life savings and persuaded them to drain their retirement accounts to invest in his bogus sports betting group, all so he could spend it on international vacations, a multi-million dollar residence and poker tournaments," United States Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement that announced the indictment. "Today’s indictment serves as a reminder to all of us to be wary of so-called investment opportunities that purport to have inside information, as they are really a gamble not worth taking."

Zeidman, according to ESPN, is a professional poker player who won a bracelet at the 2012 World Series of Poker.

"Zeidman preyed on individuals who were led to believe he had inside information that would lead them to easy money," Homeland Security Investigations New York Acting Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel said in the statement. "In reality, he was selling nothing but lies and misinformation — bilking millions from victims along the way, leaving their lives in financial ruin and their bank accounts empty."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Former WSOP bracelet winner Cory Zeidman charged with fraud, money laundering in sports betting scheme

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