West Virginia Gaming News

Businessman arrested in Trump impeachment inquiry is poker player

One of the men at the center of the ongoing Trump and Giuliani Ukraine scandal is a keen poker player, with 18 cashes on the Hendon Mob from small tournaments in Florida.

Lev Parnas is a passionate poker player

Lev Parnas, a businessman from Boca Raton in South Florida, was arrested last night at Dulles International Airport.

He and alleged accomplice Igor Fruman reportedly had one-way international tickets, just hours after having lunch with President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

The poker player and his associate were ‘booked last night in Virginia on charges that they “schemed to funnel foreign money to U.S. politicians in a bid to affect U.S.-Ukraine relations and launch a marijuana business,’ according to multiple news outlets.

Ukrainian-born Parnas and Belarus-born Fruman accompanied former Mayor of New York Giuliani in his capacity as Mr. Trump’s lawyer on visits with Ukrainian officials – Trump’s dealings with Ukraine now the subject of an impeachment inquiry.

Parnas, now a naturalized US citizen, has been a well-known businessman in Florida for many years. In his spare time seems to have been a semi-regular on the Florida poker scene.

His first recorded cash was back in March of 2016 at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. He followed it up with several more in Pompano Beach.

His biggest recorded cashes are a $7270 payout for 3rd spot in the $1100 buy-in October Tournament in 2017, and a $7535 cash in a similar $1100 buy-in tournament in January of this year.

Florida man no stranger to controversy

Although Parnas’ current woes involve severe charges, the Florida man is no stranger to controversy.

According to the OCCRP – the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project – ‘Parnas once ran an electronics business that was successfully sued for its role in a fraudulent penny stock promotion scheme.’ He also ‘worked for three brokerages that later lost their licenses for fraud and other violations’

An OCCRP report into the current Ukraine investigation also states that ‘court records also show that judges have awarded a series of default judgments against Parnas for multiple unpaid debts.

They added: ‘These include over $500,000 he owes to an investor in a Hollywood movie that he had promoted but was never made. He has also been sued a dozen times over the last decade for failing to pay rent on various Palm Beach County properties and has been evicted from two homes.’

Prosecutors described them as a ‘flight risk.’ Both Parnas and Fruman remain in custody with bail set at $1million apiece.

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