Pro poker player is charged with darkening $ 22 million from his employer for four years to cover gambling losses picked up during his sudden rise to stardom
- Dennis Blieden, 29, from Nevada, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with wire fraud, aggravation of identity theft and betrayal, the US Department of Justice said
- Prosecutors say that between 2015 and 2019 he stole $ 22 million from his former employer to buy cryptocurrency to compete in online poker
- He also used the money to pay his competitors
- StyleHaul, the company Blieden worked for before it was fired, is no longer active and has sued him in court
When it comes to staying out of jail, all bets are for a pro-phenomenon of financial executives that the authorities say have darkened millions to cover gambling losses over the course of four years.
Federal agents arrested Dennis Blieden  at his home in Las Vegas on Wednesday, according to the US Department of Justice, which imposed him 11 counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and two counts of confiscation.
He is faced with up to 200 years in federal prison if he is convicted in every way.
Prosecutors say that Blieden, a former vice president of finance at the marketing agency & # 39; influencers & # 39 ;, known as StyleHaul, stole $ 22 million from the company between 2015 and 2019, earning more than $ 8.4 million used to purchase cryptocurrency, with which he gambled online poker tournaments over the same period.
Researchers revealed more than $ 7 million in electronic money transfers and checks written to other poker players in those four years. Prosecutors said that Blieden also wasted company money on online gambling sites, wrote more than $ 1.2 million in personal checks to poker players and used to pay for his credit cards.
Dennis Blieden, 29, from Nevada, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with wire fraud, aggravation of identity theft and betrayal, the US Department of Justice said
Blieden won the first prize of $ 1 million during the L.A. Poker Classic tournament of the World Poker Tour in March 2018
Blieden & # 39; s star in the pro poker world began to shine brighter in March 2018 when he won the first prize of $ 1 million at the LA Poker Classic tournament of the World Poker Tour, with a field of 493 players and a number of beats notable veterans in the process.
During the same period, StyleHaul employees told the Daily Beast that they had & # 39; certain accounting irregularities & # 39; discovered during an internal probe before they began a more thorough investigation that revealed the missing millions.
The company asked Blieden in March about the missing money and allegedly cooked books. The Daily Beast obtained a detention memorandum filed by prosecutors stating that Blieden announced that he would darken around $ 15 million in early 2017.
& # 39; It started small, in the thousands. It started as monthly transactions and then sometimes became weekly, & Blieden told StyleHaul investigators, according to notes in the detention note.
Prosecutors say that between 2015 and 2019 he stole $ 22 million from his former employer to buy cryptocurrency to compete in online poker
The former Los Angeles accountant handled his tracks in a number of ways, including forging the signature of a StyleHaul executive director on a fake lease for an apartment in Rosarito Beach, Mexico in May 2018, the authorities said.
& # 39; Blieden has illegally transferred $ 230,000 to StyleHaul funds for its own personal use by erroneously showing that the condominium was rented for business purposes for StyleHaul customers and employees, & # 39; said the Justice Department in a press release on the issue.
& # 39; Blieden has also made fictitious transfer letters supposedly from Western Union, to make it seem that he had caused StyleHaul's transfer to a customer to pay money to the customer, claims the indictment. & # 39;
StyleHaul, which closed its doors definitively in June, has filed a lawsuit against Blieden.
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