Billy Joe ‘Bildo’ Taylor, the manic-playing poker whale who briefly lit up the Texas livestreamed cash-game scene, will be sentenced on March 8, 2023 after pleading guilty to a massive, multi-state Medicare fraud scheme that likely funded his brief fling with streamed-game poker stardom.
Taylor, 43, of Lavaca, Arkansas, pled guilty in late October to felony charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. From November 2017 through May 2021, Taylor owned and operated, in partnership with other co-conspirators, several medical lab-test facilities across the United States. As acknowledged in the plea deal, Taylor’s labs submitted roughly $130 million in Medicare claims and received over $38 million in payments for tests never ordered by medical patients or their physicians.
Taylor’s March 8 sentencing date was set on Tuesday by the case’s presiding judge, U.S. District of Western Arkansas Judge Mark E. Ford. Taylor faces up to 20 years in prison in addition to a civil forfeiture of $38.34 million, the amount of funds fraudulently received.
Legal difficulties for ‘Bildo’, as he was known in poker, surfaced in June of 2021, when he was initially charged with $88 million in Medicare theft, including $42 million for fraudulent COVID-related testing.
The disclosure of those charges ended Taylor’s brief time in one of poker’s newest spotlights, that of live-streamed cash games. His wild and free-wheeling style at the tables briefly made him a featured player on multiple Texas-based streams, where he participated in several of the largest single-hand pots ever contested in the state. Taylor also played in a handful of tournaments from Texas to Florida, including a Seminole Hard Rock $50,000 high-roller event.
Taylor disappeared from the poker scene after the 2021 charges became public. Most of his identifiable assets were seized as part of the plea deal, and he will also testify in a separate but related case in West Virginia.
Featured image source: YouTube / TCH Live