Florida-based professional gambler and prior World Series of Poker winner Cory Zeidman has pled not guilty on federal charges pertaining to his long-time operation of a tout scheme that authorities allege was based on nonexistent “insider” information. Zeidman, 53, of Boca Raton, Florida, faces felony charges of wire fraud/mail fraud and money-laundering conspiracy in the case.
Zeidman, best known in poker circles for his WSOP bracelet win in a 2012 $1,500 Stud-8 event, also faces significant civil penalties, including at least $25 million, the alleged profits of the proceeds of his multiple tout businesses, which allegedly sold insider information on sporting events that was actually conjured up from thin air.
Zeidman filed his not-guilty pleas on Tuesday in a federal Eastern District of New York courtroom. A second and related case was filed against Zeidman in Florida and has since been rolled into the EDNY case. Zeidman notified PokerNews of the not-guilty pleas on Tuesday and supplied a brief statement: “In the words of Nietzsche, ‘Everything the state says is a lie and everything it has it has stolen.’ They took all my money and they seem upset that I won’t plead to things I haven’t done. I’ve been advised by my council to not get into details but I anxiously await my day in court. I have worked in the sports handicapping industry for the past 40 years starting with ‘professor picks.’ Trade secret — he wasn’t a real professor. I want to thank the outpouring of positive words in support from my close friends and family who know me best as an individual with the highest level of morals and integrity.”
The statement contains an oddity in Zeidman’s admitting that the ‘professor picks’ weren’t done by a real professor at all, which could be looked at as a minor example of the misconceptions and alleged fraudulent activity that led to the federal charges. Zeidman is alleged to have used numerous fictitious names in the operation of his various tout services, including Richard Barnes, Walter Barr, Mr. Carlyle, Ray Palmer, Rick Cash, Elliot Stern, Gordon Howard, David Coates, Simon Coates, Paul Knox, Mark Lewis, Joel Orenstein, and Steve Nash.
Assets targeted for forfeiture
Zeidman almost certainly knew the charges were pending against him for some time. In March, SDNY prosecutors seized the contents of 16 bank accounts owned or controlled by Zeidman or other executives of the many businesses used by the tout operation. SDNY prosecutors have also targeted for forfeiture, three properties owned by Zeidman. Two of those properties are in Florida, and the third is in his native New York.
The former bracelet winner won’t be making a visit to the 2022 WSOP. Zeidman was released on $100,000 bond, but his travel is limited to the Southern District of Florida, where he resides, the Eastern District of New York, where the first case against him was filed, and at travel stops between. Zeidman is also subject to electronic monitoring and has a stipulation in his terms of bond being granted that state he “May not be employed in any sports betting or wagering.” Whether the wagering prohibition extends to poker is unclear by the wording.
Zeidman waived his right to a speedy trial, which called for a June 7 hearing. As a result, his next hearing in the case is set for 10:30 am on June 24, before EDNY District Judge Joanna Seybert.
Featured image source: World Series of Poker