Negotiations Continue in Talon White Case

Negotiations are continuing between federal prosecutors and defense counsel for Oregon “poker professional” Talon White over several million dollars of revenue allegedly generated by White from illegal pirated-video subscription services for several years earlier this decade. In the latest developments, a joint status report filed as an update in one of the two civil cases brought against White continues to ask the court to wait while discussions about possible criminal charges continue.

Federal prosecutors in the US District of Oregon announced in July that they were pursuing a criminal investigation against the 28-year-old White, whose assets had been targeted in two civil asset-forfeiture actions filed in November 2018 and May 2019. The asset-forfeiture actions were filed first in an attempt by prosecutors to freeze as much of the allegedly ill-earned revenue as possible. Roughly $4 million of the over $6 million allegedly earned by White from the video piracy was frozen in bank accounts in Oregon and Nevada or seized from White’s cryptocurrency accounts.

The joint status update was filed in the case brought in May, United States of America v. $2,457,790.72 in Funds et al. The earlier November 2018 action targets a house White purchased in Newport, Oregon valued at a few hundred thousand dollars more. In both seizure actions, White himself was not named as a defendant, which forced him to file as a party of interest connected to the seized assets, in order to pursue any defense of the seizure.

The latest update offers this as explanation for the continuing hold in the seizure cases:

“As for the status of the criminal investigation, White, through his counsel Rain Levy Minns (who is appearing pro hac vice), and the government are currently in negotiations in an effort to resolve the criminal matter. The government believes that if a resolution is reached, it will resolve the forfeiture matters. The parties are also discussing an interlocutory sale of the cryptocurrency. If an agreement can be made for such a sale, the parties will approach the court for permission to conduct such a sale.”

The two sides added, “The parties, therefore, request that this case be stayed while the criminal investigation is ongoing.”

Minns, a white-collar defense attorney from Texas, first described Talon White as a poker pro when contacted by Oregon news outlets about the first case filed last November. White is known to be a frequent participant in cash games and mid-stakes poker tourneys in several Oregon casinos. He has also made it to the final two tables of a WSOP bracelet event. However, White lacks the depth of large tournament cashes that would indicate he’s a professional tourney player, though cash-game profits or losses are not similarly tracked by third-party services.

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