Defendant in Black Friday Indictments Ira Rubin Arrested in Guatemala



According to a report by Bloomberg, one of the 11 men indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on Black Friday was arrested in Guatemala and is being detained in Miami. Ira Rubin, 52, is one of five alleged payment processors to have been named by the FBI on charges of illegal gambling, fraud, and money laundering. Rubin was targeted as a payment processor for PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker.

Rubin appeared in a Miami court Wednesday and told judge U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrea M. Simonton that he had “no idea” if a defense attorney had been hired for him because he hadn’t made a phone call since his arrest. “I signed an agreement with a lawyer in New York Friday,” Rubin told the judge at the hearing. “I have no idea whether he’s been paid as of yet. I haven’t been able to make a phone call since Monday.”

Simonton contacted the attorney, Stuart Meissner, who confirmed that he had not yet been paid. The judge then set a hearing for April 29 to determine whether Rubin will hire a local lawyer to represent him for another hearing scheduled for May 2.

Rubin was taken back to Miami Federal Detention Center after the hearing.

The arrest of Rubin follows those of Chad Elie, Bradley Franzen, and John Campos, all of whom were indicted on April 15 because of their involvement as payment processors. Among the seven other men still at large include site founders Isai Scheinberg (PokerStars), Ray Bitar (Full Tilt Poker), and Absolute Poker co-founders Scott Tom and Brent Beckley.

Campos and Elie were arrested on Black Friday. Campos appeared in court on April 18, but did not enter a plea and was released on $25,000 bond. Elie made his first court appearance in Manhattan on April 19 and was released on $250,000 bail.

Franzen turned himself in to the FBI and appeared in a Manhattan court on April 18. He pleaded “not guilty” to nine counts listed on the indictment. His bail was set at $200,000, for which his parents’ house was used as collateral.

Rubin, according to the indictment, was assisting the three major online poker sites in “tricking” banks by disguising payments as transactions with phony internet merchants. The government is seeking $3 billion in forfeitures and penalties.

Rubin was charged with nine counts, including conspiracy to violate the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA); three counts of violation of the UIGEA, three counts of operation of an illegal gambling business, conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering conspiracy.

Rubin could be the same man convicted of cross-border telemarketing scams in 2008. A person of the same name was arrested in 2006 for telemarketing fraud after his company, Global Marketing Group, assisted at least nine Canadian telemarketing firms that sold non-existent credit cards to U.S. consumers.

A U.S. District Court granted a summary judgment against an Ira N. Rubin and default judgments against 22 corporations that Rubin owned or controlled, permanently barring the corporate defendants and he from engaging in telemarketing and payment processing activities.

Ira N. Rubin failed to appear for a hearing to show cause why he shouldn’t be held in contempt of court for violating a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction order. On January 30, 2008, a judge issued a warrant for Ira N. Rubin’s arrest. He had been on the run since.

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