It can be quite alarming if you mix fraud with poker or any gambling activity for that matter. A professional poker player was accused of conning investors of more than $6 million in a scheme that involved both World Cup and Super Bowl tickets.
How exactly did this happen? According to Federal prosecutors in California’s central district, Seyed Reza Ali Fazeli, 49-years old, runs a Las Vegas-based ticketing company that is called Summit Entertainment. His business also runs under the names onlinetickets.com and pacertickets.com. Its operations ran from May 2016 to around May 2017.
Fazeli was able to collect a combined $6.2 million in order to purchase 2017 Super Bowl tickets as well as 2018 World Cup tickets and then resell everything on a profit. Here, investors were promised to be given large profits from the resale of the said tickets.
Right after getting the money, he “falsely told the victims that the ticket sales did not go well because the NFL prohibited their resale and that he was working on a settlement with the NFL” according to the prosecutor. However, the documents show that he never really paid for the tickets in the first place. What he did instead is to use the money in order to cover for his gambling expenses in Aria and Bellagio casinos in Las Vegas.
He was charged with two counts of wire fraud that could land him a forty year prison sentence if things don’t go his way. And it doesn’t actually end there. He is also facing civil lawsuits that are related to the ticket scheme that he was able to pull off.
Not the First Time
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that he was involved in this type of conflict. In 2006,
he sold World Cup tickets via his website onlinetickets.com. However, the tickets never actually reached the customers. It has resulted in a lawsuit that ended up on a settlement against Ali worth $1,176,500.
There was a report wherein a trust belonging to Semper family from St. Petersburg, Florida filed a lawsuit against Summit Entertainment along with Fazeli. According to the claim, $5 million worth of tickets were sold from Summit Entertainment for various events including NCAA Final Four and the same Super Bowl and World Cup that has been cited by the FBI. Just like other investors, the family received nothing. Representatives of the trust attempted to contact Fazeli but had not received “any substantive response”
In 2016, a lawsuit was filed in Nevada by the Ticket Man that alleges that the business paid more than $2.5 million for Super Bowl 2016 tickets after they have been promised to receive a profit of more than $3 million. According to Ticket Man, no money was received from the deal and that phone calls and emails weren’t returned.
Arrested Last Month
On February 14th, he was arrested after an FBI investigation. He had a court hearing the next day but was able to pay the bond of $120,000 for his temporary freedom. Could this be the end of the line for the pro poker player?