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Mark Scheinberg Reaches Settlement on Black Friday Charges

July 1st, 2013 by Site Admin

Mark Scheinberg, former chairman of PokerStars, has finally reached a settlement with the United States Department of Justice. Scheinberg has agreed to forfeit $50 million in assets that he acquired after illegally providing online gaming in the United States. The plea bargain does not specify what percentage of the settlement includes cash versus other assets he owns.

The original indictment of United States v. PokerStars et. al. can be found on Justia. The complaint specifies that Scheinberg, PokerStars founder Raymond Bitar and three other PokerStars executives colluded with financial institutions to illegally process payments for online gambling services. The indictment said that their crimes took place over the course of four and half years. Prosecutors argued that the severity of the charges merited a forfeiture of all assets the defendants derived from online gambling.

The Department of Justice struck a plea bargain with Bitar earlier this year. Bitar avoided prison time after his attorney argued that he was terminally ill and would need a heart transplant to survive. The terms of Scheinberg’s deal are similar to those that the Department of Justice struck with Bitar.

The deals Bitar and Scheinberg reached with the DOJ are separate from those reached with the PokerStars brand. Scheinberg has taken the same stance as PokerStars and admitted no wrongdoing. However, Bitar made an apologetic confession from his hospital room in California.

Scheinberg and other defendants are relieved to put indictments behind them. PokerStars is also moving on after the aftermath of Black Friday. The company is currently pursuing online gambling licenses in different jurisdictions throughout the United States. The company has never been convicted of violating any United States gambling laws which allow it to offer online gambling even in states with “bad actor” clauses.


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