WSOP bracelet champion Corey Zeidman has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy after being accused as the ringleader of a $25million sportsbetting fraud.
As we reported recently, Zeidman is accused of being the mastermind behind the "Phoenix Organization," a sports-betting ring that allegedly made at least $25 million from 2004 to 2022 by peddling falsified information to unwitting clients.
His clients were duped into believing that Zeidman and his associates had inside knowledge of college and professional sporting events, and they paid for the fictitious tips.
The former poker pro appeared in United States District Court Eastern District of New York this week along with his attorney, Morgan Zeidman, and pleaded not guilty in front of Judge Joanna Seybert.
Zeidman quoted German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in a brief interview with PokerNews: 'Everything the state says is a lie and everything it has it has stolen.'
He added: “They took all my money and they seem upset that I won't plead to things I haven't done. I’ve been advised by my council to not get into details but I anxiously await my day in court.”
Living the High Life
According to United States Attorney, Breon Peace, Zeidman and his co-accused “swindled his victims, stole their life savings, and convinced them to deplete their retirement funds to invest in his spurious sports betting syndicate so that he could spend the cash on international vacations, a multimillion-dollar home, and poker tournaments."
This was carried out by fraudulently advertising a "sophisticated white-collar technique for acquiring sports information" through radio advertisements broadcast across the United States.
The cartel instructed listeners to dial a particular telephone number and informed them that "certain sporting events were predetermined, or 'fixed.'" The syndicate gave this instruction with the guarantee of "wagering as investing, not high-risk gambling."
Multiple Fake Identities
Federal prosecutors claim that Zeidman used multiple identities and numerous shell companies to carry out the fraud.
Daniel Brubaker, the US Postal Inspector in Charge of the inquiry, stating Zeidman "created a criminal plan to grow his coffers using nothing more than people's enthusiasm for sports and his brilliant words packaged around a scam."
Zeidman, who won his WSOP gold in 2013 in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better, a win worth $201,559, told PokerNews: I have worked in the sports handicapping industry for the past 40 years starting with 'professor picks.' Trade secret — he wasn’t a real professor.
He added: “I want to thank the outpouring of positive words in support from my close friends and family who know me best as an individual with the highest level of morals and integrity."
According to court reports, Zeidman will face a pre-trial conference on June 24th.