Saturday August 17,2013 : MANHATTAN ART GALLERY GAMBLING RING LATEST (Update)
Two plead guilty to operating high stakes poker games
The high-profile enforcement raids on high stakes poker game organisers working from a New York art gallery earlier this year saw a sequel in a Manhattan federal court this week when two men pleaded guilty to illegally operating nosebleed New York City poker games with pots worth tens of thousands of dollars.
On Friday Kirill Rapoport and William Barbalat entered guilty pleas and now await sentencing.
Rapoport pleaded guilty to conducting an illegal poker game, whilst Barbalat admitted to traveling in interstate commerce in aid of operating an illegal poker game.
Both men, who have denied that they are associated with organised crime gangs, were among 34 defendants arrested in April and accused of being involved in allegedly Russian-American crime ring-organised illegal activity in which prosecutors claimed over a hundred million dollars was generated by wealthy punters and celebrities.