World Series of Poker event winner charged with $25 million sports betting scam

Posted: May 30, 2022, 9:26 a.m.

Last update: May 30, 2022, 9:26 a.m.

A former World Series of Poker event winner faces federal charges as prosecutors allege he led a group that defrauded millions by claiming he had inside information that could be used to betting on sporting events.

Cash in envelope
Federal authorities say Cory Zeidman convinced people to send him money in order to receive alleged inside information about sporting events that they could use for betting purposes. Authorities arrested him last week and he is charged with defrauding people of at least $25 million over 16 years. (Image: © Can Stock Photo/ultrapro)

Authorities arrested Cory Zeidman, 61, in Florida on Wednesday, the same day a federal judge unsealed a two-count grand jury indictment in New York.

According to the indictment, Zeidman and an unnamed co-conspirator held leadership positions in an organization called the “Phoenix Organization.” For over 16 years, until March 2020, the organization promoted an investment-driven approach to sports betting and advertised its services on radio.

Those who called the service were told by Zeidman and others that they had inside information about certain games from individuals like team doctors and television executives. In some cases, callers were told that certain games were rigged, with the outcome already assured.

“Sell nothing but lies”

To obtain this information, subscribers paid Zeidman and his group fees. Authorities allege Zeidman used multiple aliases for his scheme, including companies like “Grant Sports International” as part of the scheme.

As alleged, Zeidman defrauded his victims, stole their life savings and persuaded them to empty their retirement accounts to invest in his bogus sports betting group, all so he could spend it on an international vacation, a multi-million residency. dollars and poker tournaments. U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement released after Zeidman’s arrest.

The grand jury returned the charges of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and conspiracy to launder money.

“Mr. Zeidman took advantage of public interest to ‘enter the bottom floor’ of his sports betting organization,” US Postal Inspector Daniel Brubaker said in a statement. devised a criminal scheme to fatten his pockets using nothing more than people’s love for the sport and his clever words wrapped around a cheat.”

Authorities allege Zeidman and others defrauded people of at least $25 million.

According to the indictment, Zeidman sent instructions on how to send payments by wire transfer to accounts that he or other members of the organization established. He also told “many victims to send money in envelopes” to New York-based addresses.

“As alleged, Zeidman preyed on individuals who were tricked into believing he had inside information that would lead them to easy money. In reality, he was selling only lies and misinformation – scamming millions of victims along the way, leaving their lives in financial ruin and their bank accounts empty,” said Patrick Ryder, Acting Special Agent for Homeland Security Investigations in New York.

Online court records did not mention an attorney for Zeidman.

WSOP bracelet winner

According to The Hendon Mob, a database of poker players, Zeidman has earned over $690,000 during his career as a professional poker player. This included three World Poker Tour events earlier this year, all in Florida.

The database also shows that Zeidman has appeared in 17 World Series of Poker events since 1997. In May 2012, he earned a coveted World Series bracelet when he won the Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo event at 1 $500. He earned $201,559 for this victory.

He has four other top-10 finishes in World Series events.