According to reports from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and reporter David Ferrara, a woman who is now (naturally) a former employee of one of the top poker magazines in the world has been indicted on charges of theft.
The Basics of the Case
Prosecutors in Clark County announced the indictments on Thursday against Shelby McCann, who used to work for CardPlayer Magazine. Hired by the magazine in September 2011 – roughly five months after “Black Friday” devastated online poker in the States of America – McCann was hired to be the financial controller for the company. According to the prosecutors, the embezzlement began almost immediately as McCann used the CardPlayer coffers to fund her own lifestyle.
According to Chief Deputy District Attorney Jay Raman, McCann wrote checks to herself to cover a wide gamut of debts and to increase her salary. McCann also allegedly utilized crowdfunding pages to transfer some of the CardPlayer money, including one particular scam where an adoption was the goal and McCann allegedly sent $22,000. All totaled, according to the indictments, McCann was able to allegedly embezzle over $1.1 million from CardPlayer Magazine from 2011 to 2016.
An Aftereffect of “Black Friday?”
In presenting the evidence of McCann’s alleged crimes, Raman spells out a timeline that could indicate that CardPlayer Magazine was a victim of “Black Friday,” the collapse of online poker in the States of America. With the advertising monies withdrawn from the major online poker rooms at the time – PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and the CEREUS Network rooms Absolute Poker and UB.com – CardPlayer was in dire straits at the time. Although it hired McCann, who used a false first name in “Anna” McCann to work for CardPlayer, as a controller for the company, CardPlayer would cut approximately 90% of its staff with the loss of revenue.
“Black Friday” would also explain why it took so long for the owners, Barry Shulman and his wife Allyn, from being able to pick up on what was going on. Although they were the owners of the magazine, they weren’t involved in how much money the business was earning either before or after “Black Friday” occurred. Thus, McCann was able to allegedly siphon off the money without being noticed because no one knew how much of an effect “Black Friday” would have on the advertising revenues.
Ferrara quotes Allyn Shulman as saying, “All of a sudden, there was no money to pay the bills. This made us start thinking…what the heck is going on?”
Both Sides Making their Case
Although McCann hasn’t made any statement regarding the indictment, her husband has established a GoFundMe page to raise funds for her defense. Benjamin McCann says that the charges are “so over the top its absurd,” according to Ferrara, adding that “this is entertainment to her accusers…my initial goal is to cover her bail and to provide a retainer to a defense attorney.” Apparently either McCann or GoFundMe discontinued the crowdsourcing fundraiser as it is no longer active after raising only $468 towards her defense.
In a Facebook post, Allyn Shulman offered her thanks to those who have offered support and words of encouragement. “Two years after we painfully and shockingly learned that our bookkeeper embezzled over a million dollars from CardPlayer during her 5 years with us, Anna Shelby McCann has finally been indicted and justice is being served,” Shulman wrote. “It is comforting that in the 24 hours since the Indictment was issued, so many of you have sent us love and kind wishes! Barry and I THANK YOU ALL!”
Currently there are no reports of future court proceedings. Poker News Daily will continue to monitor the situation and report as new details emerge.