Scales

Edwin Ting Confirms Guilty Plea, Fined $2 Million in Taiwanchik-Trincher Case

scales-justiceEdwin Ting, one of five defendants who has pled guilty to date in the federal government’s sweep of indictments in the “Taiwanchik-Trincher Organization” sportsbetting and poker investigation centered in New York City, has agreed to a fine of $2,000,000 as part of his plea deal.

Ting formally consented to the deal with prosecutors on Wednesday, according to documents obtained by FlushDraw.  Ting was one of 34 defendants charged in connection with the sportsbetting and poker rings that prosecutors allege were controlled by Russian organized crime boss Alimzhan “Taiwanchik” Tokhtakhounov and operated by three different US-based controllers.  Among the US heads of the group, according to the indictment, was Vadim Trincher, prominently known in the poker world for winning a 2009 World Poker Tour event.

Charges against members of the ring included money laundering and extortion in addition to a slew of gambling-business counts, with alleged activities including live and online bookmaking via numerous offshore sites, in addition to a well-established series of high-stakes poker games, many of which were held in Trincher’s own Trump Towers apartment.  Ting was identified in court papers as one of the organizers of the poker games, some money from which — in addition to the other activities — was alleged to be funneled offshore to Tokhtakhounov and his other criminal activities.  Tokhtakhhounov remains a fugitive from US justice on counts ranging from arms smuggling to the fixing of a figure-skating event during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

Ting agreed to a guilty plea and fine on a single count of operating an illegal gambling business, with separate counts of conspiring to commit money laundering and interstate travel in aid of an unlawful activity dropped as part of the deal.  Ting still faces a possible prison term when sentenced later this fall, though the agreed fine increases the probability that probation or a suspended sentence will be ordered.

The hefty $2 million fine imposed against Ting appears to be designed to encompass all of Ting’s identifiable assets.  Two separate Ting assets were specified for forfeiture to be applied against the $2 million figure:

• The unspecified contents of a business account in Ting’s corporate name, Ting Enterprises, held in account #7928488688 at TD Bank;

• $13,282 in cash that was seized from Ting in conjunction with the April 16th, 2013 execution of warrants in the case.

Other and unspecified Ting assets also remain subject to future identification and seizure.  The United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York, already well known in poker circles for its “Black Friday” role, will be responsible for ongoing investigations in the case.

A separate motion by Ting’s lawyer to have his bail conditions modified to allow out-of-state travel for gambling purposes remains to be ruled on by presiding judge Jesse M. Furman.  Attorney Eric Franz, arguing on Ting’s behalf, seeks to have the change made with the condition that Ting must notify his bail officer in advance of his travel plans.  No reference was made regarding the nature of the funds that Ting might be gambling with should his request to travel be approved.

Ting and the four others who have pled guilty to date remain among the case’s minor defendants.  Roughly half of the case’s 34 defendants were charged with helping to operate Trincher’s coast-to-coast, elite poker games or, as in the case of prominent poker pro Justin “BoostedJ” Smith, for accepting sports bets on behalf of others which were then funneled through online sites operated by the group’s primary members.  Prominent poker connections in the case in addition to Smith, Trincher, and Trincher’s two sons include notable players John Hanson, Abe Mosseri, Bill Edler and Peter “Nordberg” Feldman.

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