Scales

Five-Month Sentence for Edwin Ting in NYC Poker Conviction

scales-justiceEdwin Ting, one of 34 defendants in a large New York City-based sportsbetting and poker ring with ties to both coasts, online gambling sites, and to the Russian mob, was sentenced yesterday in US federal court to five months in prison for his role in running high-stakes poker games on behalf of the ring.

Proceeds from the games, which were raked in violation of New York state law, were allegedly among the funds that were funneled in part to the overseas operations of Alimzhan “Taiwanchik” Tokhtakhounov, an organized crime boss who is alleged to given his blessing and protection to the operations.  Ting was alleged to be the operator of the game, often held at the swanky Trump Towers apartment of WPT event winner and case co-defendant Vadim Trincher.

According to a release issued yesterday by the Southern District of New York prosecutor’s office of Preet Bharara, Ting “ran what was likely the largest and highest-stakes illegal poker game in New York City,” from 2010 to 2013.  Ting was also responsible for employing at least five other co-defendants in the case as dealers for the long-running games.

Ting himself, according to the release, is alleged to have pulled in millions of rake through the games’ operations.  In addition to his five-month term, he was also fined $2,000,000 and will serve two years of supervised probation following the completion of his term, the first five months of which will also include electronic location monitoring.

Ting, 42, was originally scheduled to be sentenced two weeks ago, but the sentencing hearing was delayed two weeks due to scheduling conflicts with the USAO prosecuting attorney for his case.  Ting is the fifth defendant in the case to receive formal sentencing in the case after reaching a plea deal last fall, following sentences for Bryan Zuriff, William Barbalat, Kirill Rapoport and Justin “BoostedJ” Smith.

Of the five, Ting’s five-month sentence is the second-stiffest term handed out to date, though longer terms are likely in some of the cases that will see sentencing hearings in the next two months.  The USAO Southern District of New York office has also collected over $68 million in fines from the 25 of the case’s 33 defendants who have agreed to plea deals to date.  Seven of the remaining eight defendants are also negotiating deals or planning for trial, with only Tokhtakhounov, the international crime boss who is wanted by the United States on other charges as well, still at large.

As for Ting, who has three WPT cashes over $10,000 in his own poker career, he was originally charged with three counts in the case: (1) A money-laundering conspiracy charge in connection with one of three connected rings within the operation, called the “Nehmad-Trincher Ring” (referring to Vadim Trincher’s son Illya; (2) a count of operating an unlawful poker business (the count to which Ting actually pled guilty in the plea deal); and (3) a Travel Act violation, referring to the crossing of state lines in conjunction with the financial operations of the gambling ring’s activities.

Ting is expected to report to a federal prison in Fort Dix, NJ on or before March 21, 2014, to begin serving his sentence.

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