LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A World Series of Poker bracelet winner is among four Los Angeles men facing federal charges in connection with an illegal video gambling operation and money laundering efforts, according to an indictment obtained today.
Professional card player Gal Yifrach, who frequently appeared on the popular ``Live at the Bike'' poker stream, allegedly ran the scheme in the Sacramento area by ``supplying, operating, and maintaining'' unlicensed slot machines, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of California.
The indictment alleges that, beginning around January 2018 until two months ago, the Israeli-born Yifrach, 35, laundered the proceeds of the operation in various ways, including swapping cash for chips or checks at a gaming establishment referred to as ``a casino in Bell Gardens.''
The only casino in that city is the Bicycle Hotel and Casino, home of the ``Live at the Bike'' online poker show.
Conspirators allegedly made cash deposits of no more than $10,000 at banks to avoid federal transaction reporting requirements, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
As stated in the three-count indictment, Yifrach allegedly used the funds to invest in Los Angeles real estate.
Along with Yifrach, federal prosecutors on Thursday charged Nick Shkolnik, 39, Shalom Ifrah, 32, and Schneur Zalman Getzel Rosenfeld, 33, in connection with the case.
Yifrach was charged with operating an illegal gambling business and conspiracy to commit money laundering; Shkolnik faces a single count of operating an illegal gambling business; and Ifrah and Rosenfeld are charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to the indictment.
If convicted, Yifrach and Shkolnik would each face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conducting an illegal gambling business. In addition, Yifrach, Ifrah, and Rosenfeld each would face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, or twice the value of the funds involved, whichever is greater, for the money laundering count.
The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of assets, including over $500,000 and three real estate properties in Los Angeles.
As of late last year, Yifrach was the brand ambassador to ``Hustler Casino Live'' and the ``Live Stream Poker Show,'' two popular shows that attract large online audiences. He was also a regular cast member of poker podcast ``Live at the Bike,'' one of the largest YouTube channels devoted to poker, according to an October profile in The Jerusalem Post.