The Colorful Cast of Characters Part I: Ira Rubin

August 24, 2011 - 11:28 PM EDT
By

Who are the real people indicted by the DOJ on Black Friday?

Subject: Poker asked this question and found some interesting answers. This is the first in a series giving readers some insight into the who’s who of those in the DOJ’s crosshairs.

What’s it like to be on the run from the law for years? Are you constantly looking over your shoulder to see who’s following? Can you really always stay one step ahead or is it destined to end some day? Can it be fun?

Ira Rubin, one of the eleven men indicted on Black Friday and the first subject of our series, has those answers.

 

Troubles with the FTC

Before he was publicly known in the world of online gambling, Rubin was allegedly heavily involved in a telemarketing credit card scam. A 2006 Federal Trade Commission complaint accuses Rubin’s Global Marketing Group of companies of assisting at least nine Canadian telemarketing companies to defraud customers, in violation of the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rules.1 Victims of the scam allegedly thought that they were paying an advance fee for unsecured credit cards, but they often got nothing in return.

The complaint alleges that since January 2003, Rubin and his companies processed payments and provided various other services to these fraudulent telemarketing companies. In this capacity, Rubin allegedly attempted to debit a least $26 million from consumers’ bank accounts, successfully netting his clients over $8,615,185.2

A temporary restraining order issued in December 2006 and a preliminary injunction in January 2007 barred Rubin and other corporate defendants from engaging in telemarketing and all payment processing activities. They also froze his personal assets and those of Global Marketing Group. Eventually, Rubin’s wife Phoelicia Daniels was named as a relief defendant (a receiver of ill-gotten gains), and in March 2007 Rubin’s lawyer Kevin D. Astl and eighteen additional corporate entities owned or controlled by Rubin and Astl were all added to an amended complaint.3

Not to be deterred, Rubin apparently withdrew $500,000 from an account, violating the restraining order and injunction. On January 15, 2008, a judge ordered Rubin to appear and show cause why he should not have been held in contempt for ignoring the restraining order and injunction by continuing to engage in the payment processing business, misappropriating over $500,000 in receivership assets, concealing $95,000 in credit card charges from the commission, lying in a sworn financial statement, and hiding thirteen boxes of corporate records.

Rubin just didn’t show up. He was found guilty of contempt, and his arrest warrant was issued.

In fact, Rubin put up almost no defense against the FTC allegations:

Rubin has conducted no independent discovery in this case and has not otherwise challenged the accuracy or authenticity of the FTC’s evidence. Of particular importance is Rubin’s responses to the FTC’s request for admissions and answer to the FTC’s complaint wherein he invokes his Fifth Amendment rights. It is well-settled that a court, in the context of a civil case, may draw adverse inferences from a party’s refusal to testify.4

He had missed many appearances and had been a fugitive since January 2008. In his sworn statements to the court, he even neglected to admit that he had a son from a previous marriage and also a grandchild.

In December 2008, after reviewing all the uncontested evidence, a US District Court found no issues to material facts as to his violations and therefore granted a summary judgment in favor of the FTC on both counts.5 In addition, the court issued a permanent injunction and monetary judgment for $8,615,185 (the full amount of consumer injury) and summary judgments against 22 of the businesses he controlled. Rubin and the other defendants were permanenly barred from engaging in telemarketing and payment processing activities. Rubin was further held personally liable for the practices of his 24 corporations.

Kevin Astl reached a settlement with the FTC where he could no longer engage in any payment processing, could not violate any telemarketing laws, and could never disclose customer information. He received a suspended judgment of over $5 million against him. He will be responsible for compliance monitoring for a period of an additional five years and is required to keep detailed records of many of his business activities for eight years.

Once Wasn’t Enough? More troubles with the FTC

While the original FTC case was still ongoing, the FTC struck again.

In 2005, eight of the nine Canadian companies mentioned in the Florida case and their officers faced civil charges6 from the Federal Trade Commission in the US District Court of the Northern District of Illinois. The complaint alleged that the defendants were scamming US customers again by charging a $249 fee in exchange for unsecured MasterCard and Visa credit cards which never materialized. The defendants were also charged with making calls to potential customers that were listed on the National Do Not Call Registry.

By 2006 Rubin was linked to the case as being a payment processor for some of the targeted companies. As such, he was notified when the defendants assets had been frozen via preliminary injunction, and was responsible for seeing that no money made its way back to the owners of the frozen funds. The FTC later found that one defendant, Francesco “Frank” Bellissimo, had control over two additional companies, Potomac Fidelity Group and Easton Consulting Group, that were fraudulently charging fees of $295 and up to US customers, leading them to believe that the companies would help them secure $5,000 grants. Bellissimo made a motion to the court to indemnify himself as to the violation of the Do Not Call issue because he contracted to another party, for “scrubbing” services. “Scrubbing” is the term used in the industry to ensure calls are not placed to potential customers named in the registry. Ira Rubin and Global Marketing were named by Bellissimo as who he paid to handle the scrubbing. Rubin was also found to be one of the payment processors and the provider of all customer service for Bellissimo’s companies.

In spite of the fact that he’d been ordered not to, in July 2006 Rubin allegedly continued payment processing services for the government grants scam run by Potomac and Easton via Bellissimo. Rubin also allegedly handled customer service for the same scam. Between August 9, 2006 and December 11, 2006 Rubin allegedly processed $1,570,688, making $101,459 in fees for himself. He also wired $556,189 to Bellissimo in violation of the injunction.

In March 2007, the FTC investigator and others in the Illinois case accompanied the court-appointed receiver in the Florida case to Rubin’s Global offices in Florida. Rubin’s files were searched, and incriminating documents were copied and then placed back in their original location. Files were also downloaded and copied from computers in the office. Those searches resulted in copies of a long list of incriminating documents.7

Because of the transactions between Rubin and Bellissimo, in April 2007, Rubin was charged as a non-party in the FTC Illinois action. He invoked the Fifth Amendment, claiming that he could not submit an answer to the complaint against him, citing chances that he could incriminate himself further with potential future felony charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit those crimes.

(It should be noted that, typically, if someone refuses to do something that he is required to do by a court order, it’s a civil offense. But, when someone does something that he is forbidden to do by a court order, it is a criminal offense.8 For this very reason, Rubin became quite familiar with the invocation of his Fifth Amendent rights against self incrimination.)

On May 23, 2007 a contempt order was issued against Bellissimo and Rubin. Rubin and Bellissimo, jointly and severally, were ordered to immediately deposit $657,648 into an escrow account of the court. They were also each to be fined $5,000 per day for each day that they neglected to comply with the order to repatriate the funds.

Rubin claimed that he could not return any funds he derived from any such actions because his assets had already been frozen via the preliminary injunction in the Florida case, nor could he deposit to the court escrow account the $657,648 (his fees and the amount he allegedly wired to Bellissimo) as ordered because even if he had such funds, he was barred from doing so, also due to the asset freeze of the Florida case. In June 2007, the court in the FTC Illinois case ordered Rubin to petition the court on the Florida case to allow Rubin to transfer funds. He was given a window to do so or explain to the Illinois court why he could not comply. In July, the Florida court granted the motion allowing Rubin to pay into the Illinois case. In the meantime, the FTC noted that Rubin had several hundred thousand dollars worth of assets that could be used to at least partially satisfy the claim if liquidated. This included Rubin’s cars, his condo, the surrender value of his life insurance policies, and his retirement accounts.

The FTC had also learned that Rubin had allegedly laundered $320,000 by depositing two cashier’s checks at Las Vegas casinos, namely the Mandalay Bay and the Wynn. Over the next several months, Rubin initiated numerous transfers in and out of both casino accounts. All of this was in violation of the Florida asset freeze and directly in conflict with the sworn statement in the Illinois case in which Rubin said he could not deposit any funds due to that asset freeze, and the majority of these casino transactions took place after that statement and after the May 23, 2007 contempt order in the Illinois case. Rubin had eventually withdrawn from the casinos in many instances, and the vast majority of those funds were deemed unaccounted for.

At the same time, there had been ongoing negotiations with the FTC in the Illinois case, resulting in a proposed order that would have allowed Rubin to resolve the contempt order. This deal allowed for a receiver to take control of Rubin’s life insurance policies, retirement accounts, bank accounts, automobiles, and condominium and apply the proceeds to satisfy the contempt order. These negotiations had been active and ongoing until August 2007 when questions arose regarding a bank account that Rubin had failed to previously disclose. Although Rubin’s counsel provided details on that account on September 4th, on September 6th and 10th, conference calls between counsels discussed Rubin’s failure to disclose hundreds of thousand of dollars that he used to go on gambling trips in Las Vegas. The plaintiff notified Rubin that the deal was off and that nothing short of full compliance with the contempt order would be acceptable.

Because it became clear that the contempt orders and asset freezings via both courts for Rubin were having no effect on his actions and that he clearly had no intention of complying, the FTC requested the Illinois court to issue a writ of bodily attachment for Rubin for failure to comply. They asked that he be incarcerated until he transferred enough assets to satisfy the outstanding orders.

On September 15, 2007, Rubin sold his Lexus and Mercedes to a dealership in Florida. He received two checks for the automobiles for $21,000 and $ 28,665.74 respectively. He also owned a BMW that was in a repair shop, and he promised to turn over the two checks and the title for the BMW at the next hearing on October 5th. Also on September 15th, Rubin tried to cash in two of his three life insurance policies without success. The insurer had been instructed by FTC counsel not to allow this to happen, so he did not. On the same day, Rubin tried to cash out his retirement accounts, but the brokerage similarly refused to honor the request.

In October 2007, Rubin once again invoked his Fifth Amendment rights by neither confirming nor denying the alleged issuance or possession of the two cashier’s checks deposited at the two Las Vegas casinos. If he were to confirm exercising any dominion over such checks just one week after the asset freeze in the Florida case, that could leave him open to further charges. His lawyers claimed that the Illinois court had no jurisdiction to concern themselves with any facts before the actual contempt order of May 23, regardless of his status in other cases. He did, however, admit that spending money on anything other than mandatory living expenses after that date was not a wise decision. His lawyers claimed that his actions were only those of a desperate man suffering severe duress and mental anguish by two parallel legal cases against him; they claimed that he could therefore not let go of the standard of living to which he had been accustomed.

Rubin’s attorneys also argued that his incarceration would serve no purpose in compelling him to make the required payments to the court, since they claimed that he was insolvent, and would serve only to penalize him, which is beyond the scope of remedy of this court. Rubin claimed to have tried to turn over his bank accounts to the court but said that the court clerk refused to accept such deposits lacking a specific court order.9

In October 2007, the judge in the Illinois case issued a final order that the following assets of Rubin be liquidated and turned over to the court registry: three cars, four small personal bank accounts, surrender value of three life insurance policies, two retirement accounts, and his condominium in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida.

As was proven following depositions in this Illinois case, this second FTC investigation found substantial violations of the court orders vs Ira Rubin in the Global case. For example, although he was permitted to spend up to $7,000 per month on normal living expenses, many months he spent ten times that. Although he was explicitly forbidden to do so, he opened new bank accounts, acquired multiple new credit cards, rented a U-Haul storage locker, “borrowed” money from “friends,” and continued to keep numerous contacts in the payment processing industry. He also had concealed hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, much of which he wired to a few companies, eventually getting it outside the country in places such as Panama, Costa Rica, and India.10

Rubin also traveled extensively in just a few months time, both in and out of the US. He went to Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Denver, Aspen, New York, Los Angles, Kansas City, Vermont, Colorado, Arizona, Las Vegas multiple times, Costa Rica at least six times, Panama, London, Amsterdam, Spain, Toronto, and Montreal. On many of these trips, he was accompanied by various female companions. At the time, because of evidence uncovered during the raid, the FTC already knew that each and every one of the above trips (and more) were likely for meetings with Rubin’s associates in the payment processing businesses or contacts for new processing companies being set up to replace the now closed ones. But, according to Rubin’s sworn deposition, his reason for going to Costa Rica was to de-stress and meet up with numerous Colombian girls that he enjoyed spending time with. He claimed that Panama was for more de-stressing and loving the Panamanian woman as well. All of his other destinations were again said to be for pure pleasure. Each time a possible enterprise connection was broached in the deposition, out came the invocation of the Fifth Amendment.

He also spent a lot of money on gifts–lots of gifts. He spent $800 on earrings for one of his Colombian girlfriends in Costa Rica, $2,200 for a necklace for his “co-worker” in Florida, $2,700 for another Colombian girl in Costa Rica (whose last name he says he doesn’t remember), $9,500 for a watch a 2 purses from Cartier’s also for his co-worker in Florida, $8,800 for some earrings (He doesn’t remember to whom these were given), and $3,000 for shoes for himself. Naturally, he again invoked his Fifth Amendment rights with respect to how he paid for any of these things, who gave him the money, what he did when he went to these places, and other related questions.

In November 2007, the attorney for the court-appointed receiver in the Global case, along with the U-Haul storage center manager and Rubin himself, visited Rubin’s storage locker to take inventory. It was full of luggage, clothes, computer equipment, and boxes. At least eighty pictures were taken to memorialize the inventory. Among other things, the boxes contained hundred of files, dated between 2001 and 2006, each labeled with the name of a former client of Rubin’s from his payment processing businesses, and all the documents relating to his payment processing transactions. In addition, there were two boxes of blank checks, three desktop computers, three printers, other computer peripherals, and personal items. Eight days later, after agreement from Rubin’s attorney, the receiver’s attorney returned to the locker and retrieved the thirteen boxes of documents and the three computers. The FTC had planned to copy the hard drives from those desktops, but when they were opened, they found that the hard drives had already been removed.

At this point, Rubin had developed a reputation for ignoring court orders and invoking the Fifth Amendment. Although many of his infractions happened after the restraining order and injunction in the Global case in Florida but before the May 2007 orders in the second case, he continued to live up to that reputation, as the blatant disregard of court orders went on after the additional injunction in the Illinois case. This is when the FTC decided to remove any chance of a lighter burden on Rubin. All deals were off the table, never to be seen again

The same could be said for his residency in the United States; that was history, and Rubin fled to Costa Rica. He remained a fugitive there from 2007 until April 2011.

Rubin’s Wife

In December 2006, Rubin’s wife, Phoelicia Daniels, had been required to file a financial statement with the court for the FTC case, including all assets and liabilities, along with personal information. Amidst all her assets, while she did list two life insurance policies carried on her husband, she neglected to list one on herself. She did indeed have a policy on her own life, with a face value of $250,000. At that time, Ira Rubin was the sole beneficiary. Without the court’s knowledge, in August of 2007, she changed the beneficiaries to her neice and nephew.

Daniels died in Florida, February 19, 2008. By that time, several injunctions were granted for her assets in addition to her assets being frozen as a relief defendant in Rubin’s FTC case. After litigation following probate on the the Daniels’ estate, it was ordered that her life insurance policy was to be included in her assets in the FTC case. (Premiums had all been paid by Global Marketing and/or Ira Rubin.) Several injunctions were granted for her assets in addition to those filed when she was named as a relief defendant in Rubin’s original FTC case. There had already been appointed a permanent equity receiver for Ira Rubin to “take exclusive custody, control, and possession of all Assets and Documents of, or in the possession, custody, or under the control of, the Receivership Defendants, wherever situated.” These assets included real and personal property owned by Rubin or his wife, or transferred by Rubin to his wife.

Although, sadly, Rubin was in self -imposed exile and unable to be with his wife at the time of her death in 2008, he later began a memorial website in her name, where he has kept a journal regularly for the last three years. This journal consists of love letters to his deceased wife as well as some semblance of what he did with his days in Costa Rica. While it’s clear that he danced around the events that transpired to keep him in Costa Rica, it’s equally clear that, despite his numerous liaisons with women following the break up of his marriage, there is a soft spot in the heart of this accused criminal.

Online Gambling: Do some things just never change?

On April 15, 2011, the US Attorneys Office of the Southern District of NY unsealed the civil complaint and criminal indictments that rocked the poker world. Ira Rubin’s name surfaced again.

According to the allegations, from at least 2007 until March 2011, Rubin, along with his associates (including a still unnamed California processor known to the DOJ), had been processing payments for many internet gambling sites, including all three of the poker sites targeted in the indictment. (This was both during and after the FTC cases above.) Beginning in mid 2008, only months after knowing that a warrant had been issued for his arrest for failing to comply in the FTC v Global case, Rubin’s company E-Triton and some of his associates allegedly were hired by poker sites to process payments disguised as oneshopcenter.com (a fake clothing and jewelry store), mygolflocation.com (a fake golf club store), and similar websites. In fact, it’s alleged Rubin created dozens of phony websites made to look like they sold everything from jewelry to bicycles, knowing full well that these sites were simply to disguise poker site transactions. In fact, when consumers emailed the seemingly innocent websites questioning charges to their bank accounts, the replies they received were from PokerStars employees with PokerStars.com email addresses.

Rubin had originally subcontracted the processing for the sites to various partners, including an unnamed Arizona processor. When the Arizona processor stopped being an option after having its accounts seized in June 2009, Rubin then allegedly went to work with his associates to process for Full Tilt Poker directly, disguising the payments as belonging to a medical billing company. This continued until those accounts also were seized in September 2009.

From 2008 to March 2011, he allegedly also processed for Absolute Poker, disguising those transactions as payroll processing, affiliate marketing and online electronics merchants, among other things. (During the early FTC investigations, there were documents recovered that showed Rubin had been working with Beckley at Absolute even years earlier.)

As a result of these alleged crimes, Rubin faces all nine criminal counts in the Black Friday indictments:

  1. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act Conspiracy
  2. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act: PokerStars
  3. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act: Full Tilt Poker
  4. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act: Absolute Poker
  5. Operation of an Illegal Gambling Business: PokerStars
  6. Operation of an Illegal Gambling Business: Full Tilt Poker
  7. Operation of an Illegal Gambling Business: Absolute Poker
  8. Conspiracy to commit Bank and Wire Fraud
  9. Money Laundering Conspiracy

Rubin had been living in Costa Rica since fleeing the United States in 2007. In April, it’s believed that he traveled to Guatemala in order to pick up a fake passport and then travel to Thailand, where he planned to purchase a home. The US authorities arrested him in Guatemala in April, transported him from Guatemala back into the US and his new interim home at the Miami Federal Detention Center.

He soon appeared before a US Magistrate in Florida, in handcuffs and jumpsuit, and after some confusion about whether he had actually paid his counsel (He hadn’t), the proceeding was rescheduled. A few days later, with counsel, the proceeding was held, and he was given up to US Marshals to be transferred to federal detention in NY. The trial date was set for March 12, 2012.11

On May 25, 2011, Rubin was arraigned in New York and pled not guilty to all charges. On June 8th, the judge agreed that Rubin was a serious flight risk and remanded him without bail until trial. This was based on, among other things, his criminal history, his employment history, and his lack of ties in the US.

And now he waits. At the time of this writing, he is still being held in federal custody without bail.


The author and Subject: Poker acknowledge that all parties are presumed innocent until proven guilty.


Edited on 8/24/2011 11:51 PM EDT: Fixed a typo in the introduction.
Edited on 8/25/2011 9:50 PM EDT: Fixed a typo.
Edited on 9/4/2011 1:12 PM EDT: Changed “Over eighty pictures” to “At least eighty pictures”.

Footnotes

  1. The accused companies are Global Marketing Group Inc., Global Business Solutions LLC, Globalpay Inc., Globalpay LLC, Globalpay BV, Synergy Consulting Services LLC, and First Processing Corporation.
  2. These numbers can be found, for example, in the 2008 final summary judgement against Rubin. Subject: Poker cautions our readers that this judgement contains misworded sentences that can be misleading.
  3. The new defendants were Elite Funding Group, Inc. One World Group, LLC, One World Corporation, EFT Commerce, LLC, Celsius International, LLC, Celsius, LLC , Gemini Trading Group, LLC, Gemini Trading Group, Inc. , Kwikbill.Com, LTD. , Ewallet Express, Inc., One Pharm Services, Inc., 17407, LLLP , 555018, LLC , Marketing Services, LLC , Merchant Provider Solutions, LLC, Merchant Provider Solutions, LTD., Unitrade Business, LLC. Celsius, LLC did business as Global Productions, Gemini Trading Group, Inc. did business as Gembill, Marketing Services, LLC did business as Med-Cost, and Merchant Provider Solutions, LTD. did business as MPS, LTD.
  4. From the final summary judgement.
  5. The counts were violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule and withdrawing funds from consumers bank accounts in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15U.S.C. § 45(a).
  6. The original complaint, filed on September 15, 2005, was amended on December 15th.
  7. These documents include the merchant files for Potomac, the ACH agreement between the companies, sales scripts and direct mail solicitations, emails from Global and Potomac discussing changes to the government grants sales scripts, printouts of consumer complaints and the Better Business Bureau report showing they had not responded to 35 consumer complaints, an application for Easton Consulting, including sales and verification scripts and direct mail solicitations, emails between Rubin and Potomac, emails with revenue reports attached for the period August through November 2006 for payment processing services performed, and a Wells Fargo document showing that Rubin had initiated 33 wires to Bellissimo between August and November 2006, totaling $556,189.
  8. See, for example, Popular Bank of Florida v Banco Popular De Puerto Rico, 180 F.R.D. 461.465 (S.D.Fla.1998): see also US v Cable News Network Inc. 865 F. Supp 1549 (S.D.Fla. 1994)
  9. Much of the preceding story is told in more detail in Rubin’s response to the writ of bodily attachment.
  10. Reportedly, at Rubin’s bail hearing that occurred much later in the story, the judge commented that it was believed that Rubin controlled bank accounts in the Philippines, Cyprus, and Panama.
  11. According to court records, in early May 2011, a status conference addressed several issues as to the continuation of the proceedings. Discovery would be due by August 15th, and any motions by defendants would be due by September 30th. Government responses to the motions would come due by October 21st, with defendants replies due by October 28th. The next status conference or oral argument was set for November 10th, 2011.

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17 Responses to The Colorful Cast of Characters Part I: Ira Rubin

  1. matt
    August 25, 2011 at 3:41 AM EDT

    great article.

  2. Ryan Rhea
    August 25, 2011 at 4:00 AM EDT

    I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work :)

  3. Poker Gratis
    August 25, 2011 at 11:55 AM EDT

    Nice article, this really gives a good view of black friday….

  4. Adreno
    August 25, 2011 at 2:39 PM EDT

    Awesome article. Props for also portraying some human traits of Rubin instead of painting him as the evil villain (which he is)

  5. HorribleHank
    August 25, 2011 at 10:19 PM EDT

    this is truly disturbing. Great article!

    Horrible Hank

  6. gimmenut
    August 26, 2011 at 12:20 PM EDT

    You guys don’t presume he killed his wife for insurance & created a phony web-site as over compensation? wouldn’t put it past him. Used 250k for his Columbian hoes, naimean..

    • sagoodlife
      November 4, 2011 at 10:57 AM EDT

      No, she had a lot of issues, most tied to the neglect of her diabetes. She would actually cause herself to go into a diabetic shock as a manipulation tool, when things weren’t going her way. She was no saint, believe me.

  7. Bill Rini
    August 26, 2011 at 1:25 PM EDT

    Excellent, excellent article. It would have been easy to just regurgitate the facts dryly but you guys did a great job of portraying Rubin as a real character.

  8. Diamond Flush
    August 26, 2011 at 5:41 PM EDT

    Thanks for the kind words guys, and thanks for reading an extra long article, and that just covered the last few years in his 20+yr history. It’s been an interesting journey learning the ins and outs of how these things worked from behind the scene. These are the guys that handled your money, and it’s really a much smaller community than people realized. More to come soon on this subject!

  9. Great Article!
    August 27, 2011 at 6:01 AM EDT

    Looking foreword to additional articles in the series!

  10. CMarshall
    August 30, 2011 at 11:36 AM EDT

    I love this website. As an attorney I really appreciate the writing style – keep it up.

  11. DrNotes
    September 9, 2011 at 6:07 PM EDT

    Very interesting, lots of detail, I feel like I just finished a semester of law school. The intro does make it sound like you have an actual interview with Ira Rubin, using phrases like “asked the question” and “What’s it like to be on the run from the law for years?” So you might want to make it clear that this is actually about his criminal history and not an interview. I would also add the year 2011 after April in the third last paragraph about his arrest, it kind of reads like he was arrested in April of 2007, a little confusing. I am also curious if there was any chance that his ex-wife’s death was not of natural causes. This story goes to show you how to handle being charged with a crime. Hire lawyers and deny, deny, deny as long as you can. If you are as guilty as this guy, eventually it will catch up with you, but at least he had 8 years of fun before ending up as someone’s wife in prison. I am also interested why poker sites would work with this guy, he obviously can’t be trusted. Do you have to work with heartless scammers to process poker payments? Is that the price to pay for operating a poker site in the US?

  12. RakemDano
    September 11, 2011 at 2:18 AM EDT

    A “Colorful Cast of Characters” to be sure. Sounds more like a screenplay than real life….
    I can see it now, John Goodman as Ira, Will Smith (who else?) as Phil Ivey, and a cast of thousands….
    A really fascinating read, keep it up! Looking forward to Part II. Any schedule for the sequel’s release?

    By the way, just curious if any of S:P contributors/founders have legal or journalism backgrounds?

  13. sagoodlife
    November 4, 2011 at 11:00 AM EDT

    Excellent coverage of this situation! I knew Mr. Rubin closely before he went down this path, and he is a fascinating individual. He could be one of the nicest guys you ever met, or, if you were in the way of his plans, an amazing manipulator. In spite of ALL of the evidence, don’t be surprised if he sees freedom again. He is a survivor.

  14. matth
    February 24, 2012 at 9:47 PM EDT

    I know of this Guy and he is scum. he ripped a lot of people off even in his small community..he wasn’t liked by even villians. I can’t believe he will only serve 2 years which is crazy. I know people who served double his time and did much much less

    • sagoodlife
      February 27, 2012 at 2:10 PM EDT

      I’m not too shocked at the sentence-nailing him down is like trying to herd rattlesnakes. I would not be too shocked if they let him off just so they can watch him when he gets out, so they can follow him to the money. I’ve known him for about 12 years; he’s ALWAYS got an exit strategy. The story isn’t over yet, unless someone he hurt on the other side of the law gets to him. And I wouldn’t bet on him being somebody’s “wife” in prison; he is the quintessential survivor, an endless wheeler-dealer.

  15. chuck finleh
    January 27, 2013 at 11:49 PM EDT

    The story is far from over. He’s the only defendent who didnt snitch on anyone and he tpok his lumps. He got 3 years because of his past while Elie, Beckley, Campis hasicallywsljed awsy with a slap and PS & FT r still in business. Go figure. The one poster is right, the story is not ove

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