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Court Sketch Drawn of Online Poker Kingpin Turned Informant Daniel Tzvetkoff

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Mar/21/2012
Court Sketch Drawn of Online Poker Kingpin Turned Informant Daniel Tzvetkoff

An online poker payment processor turned informant, Australian Daniel Tzvetkoff, is due to become the US prosecutor’s star witness in a case against two defendants tied to the one-time “big three” Web cardrooms, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and UB.com. 

A trial date is set for April 9 in New York City with defendants (and former colleagues of Tzvetkoff’s) electing not to enter into a plea bargain.  Should this case not settle before the April 9 date, this could prove to be the "Trial of the Century", at least as far as the poker community is concerned. 

Chad Elie, 31, is charged with nine offences that include conspiring to commit bank fraud and money laundering. He faces up to 85 years if convicted.  John Campos, a 57-year-old executive at the now defunct SunFirst Bank in St. George, Utah, faces up to 35 years in prison for allegedly processing funds for the aforementioned virtual poker rooms.

Tzvetkoff is rumored to be in a witness protection program while some executives and poker pros tied to both Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars remain in hiding after being charged for similar offenses on April 15, 2011.  The US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York later alleged that poker pros Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and Howard Lederer orchestrated an elaborate ponzi scheme in connection with Full Tilt Poker. 

Revelations of Tzvetkoff’s “star witness” status were only made Wednesday (March 21, 2012), yet, the Manhattan federal court released a sketch of the Aussie whiz kid, depicting him with his head down in shame, reportedly drawn some time last week.  (that would be the picture up top, not the one below, which many probably feel is a more accurate depiction)

Daniel-Tzvetkoff-032112AL.jpg

"This is the first picture I have seen of Daniel where he is not flashing those shiny white wolf's teeth of his," said one observer. 

Tzvetkoff turned informant and brought down all three rooms with his knowledge of how payment processing methods were apparently disguised as golf ball and dog food transactions.  He had been facing up to 75 years but was immediately released from prison in New York after his arrest at a Las Vegas conference.  Days later, media reports surfaced that Tzvetkoff had turned "informant". 

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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