Travell Thomas is a World Series of Poker Circuit poker player arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud that took $31 million from victims.
In US gambling news, Thomas has been charged along with fourteen others in connection to a fraudulent debt collection agency that stole millions from victims over a four year period. If the poker player arrested is found guilty, he could receive a twenty year jail sentence.
According to press releases from the Attorney’s office of the Southern District of New York, Thomas was the co-owner, president, and CEO of the bogus company between 2010 and 2014. He is being indicted by Preet Bharara, the prosecutor famous for unsealing the Black Friday indictments who has recently also launched an investigation into daily fantasy sports.
Poker player arrested for largest bogus debt collection scheme ever brought to court
Former online poker sites in US star Thomas and his accomplices used lies such as trying to pass the company off as a law office and threatening victims with warrants for arrest and drivers license confiscations in order to extort money from them. Thousands of Americans were victimized, including some who were elderly and/or disabled.
Bharara says that Thomas’ scheme is “believed to be the largest fraudulent debt collection scheme ever to be prosecuted.” Thomas and his cronies had used the name of the Payday Loan Company as a front to get money from people who were in debt to the company. When Payday found out about Thomas’ activities, they reached out to him to stop, but he refused to do so.
Four of the defendants have already pleaded guilty, while the other accomplices and poker players arrested are awaiting trial. They are being charged for stealing over $31 million from unwitting victims, from which $750,000 was paid to Thomas himself, while tens of thousands were used to pay off his lengthy list of gambling expenses.