Cory Zeidman Sports Betting Fraud Case Update: Will Poker Pro Accept Plea Deal?

Cory Zeidman Sports Betting Fraud Case Update: Will Poker Pro Accept Plea Deal?

A federal case against poker pro Cory Zeidman for allegedly running a massive fraud scheme involving sports betting appears to be headed to a plea deal.

Zeidman, a resident of Boca Raton, Florida, was indicted in May 2022 for holding a "leadership role in an organization known as the 'Phoenix Organization' through which he, his co-conspirators and others committed the fraud and money laundering scheme described," the indictment reads.

Headed for a Guilty Plea?

The longtime poker player, in a 2022 statement to PokerNews, said he wouldn't take a plea deal and "I anxiously await my day in court."

“In the words of (German philosopher Friedrich) Nietzsche, 'Everything the state says is a lie and everything it has it has stolen.' They took all my money and they seem upset that I won't plead to things I haven't done," Zeidman said at the time.

Nearly two years later, his attorney, Sarita Kedia, has been discussing ongoing plea negotiations with the assistant US attorney on the case, Anthony Bagnuola, according to court records.

Zeidman a 2013 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, was scheduled for a March 5 status conference in front of the Hon. Joanna Seybert in the United States District Court Eastern District of New York. His attorney, however, wrote Judge Seybert a request on March 1 for a 60-day adjournment.

"Government counsel and defense counsel are hopeful that we are able to reach a possible resolution in this matter, but we need additional time to continue our discussion," Kedia wrote.

What Poker Pro is Facing and Alleged to Have Done

For now, the next status conference is scheduled for April 30 at 9:00 a.m. ET. Plea negotiations have been ongoing for the past two months. PokerNews attempted to reach Zeidman's attorney via email and phone, but have been unsuccessful. The details of the proposed deal from the defense team and counteroffer from the government aren't publicly available.

Zeidman, who initially pled not guilty, was indicted on May 17, 2022 is alleged to have held a leadership role in the "Phoenix Organization" from January 2004 to March 2020 and that he and his co-conspirators "placed advertisements on the radio in various markets throughout the United States, which falsely advertised a 'sophisticated white-collar approach to gathering sports information' and promised 'wagering as investing, not high-risk gambling.'"

The bracelet winner is charged with "conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy in connection with a sports betting fraud scheme he operated from Long Island and Florida."

He was arrested May 25 in Florida, and his case initially received extensive mainstream media coverage. USA Today, ESPN, and many other major news outlets picked up on the story.

Zeidman is accused to have falsely claimed to have "privileged" or inside information about the sporting events and "falsely claimed that there was no risk associated with their wages."

In exchange for the information, which prosecutors say "was either fictitious or obtained from an internet search," Zeidman and his co-defendants demanded the victims pay fees and are accused to have collected more than $25 million in fees between 2004 and 2020, according to a 13-page indictment.

Zeidman has over $600,000 in The Hendon Mob cashes and a WSOP bracelet. But he hasn't been spotted in a tournament since May 2022, just days prior to his arrest. He has since been out on bond, and was granted by the judge permission to travel to Massachusetts for a potential job opportunity in April 2023.

According to a 2022 Pew Research Center study, only 0.4% of federal cases that reach trial end up in an acquittal, while nearly 90% of cases concluded with a guilty plea outside of a trial, and only 8.2% of the cases were dismissed.

Zeidman infamously slow-rolled Jennifer Harman at the 2005 WSOP with a straight flush — the nuts — up against queens full.

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