Dennis Blieden, the former Vice President of Accounting and Finance of StyleHaul pleaded guilty to embezzling the company of $22 m. Blieden, the 2018 LA Poker Classic winner who won whopping $1m by defeating Toby Lewis in heads up admitted to the charges. He admitted embezzling StyleHaul, a former Hollywood Digital marketer.
Blieden admitted that he used $22m of the company’s money for his personal experiences. The money was generated from representing Instagram influencers, YouTube streamers, and video bloggers. He also used the money for cryptocurrency. However, it isn’t clear how much was used to get entry into the poker tournaments. This is certainly going to creating shocking waves at the poker industry.
Blieden won the last live cash in the PartyPoker Millions Vegas Main Event. He finished in 17th place. He would, however, seek the clemency from the court. The reports suggest that the FBI has investigated the case and it is highly unlikely.
If the $22m is broken down then the pattern where the money went can be understood. $1.2m of personal cheques were paid to the other poker players, listed during the court plea. Around $1.1m was used to pay off the debt by Blieden. However, a whopping $8.4m was used from the reserves of the StyleHaul to buy his cryptocurrency.
As per the law, if all the charges are proved, then Blieden might be sent to 200 years in jail. It is a matter of seriousness for the poker industry which has dealt with many perpetrators previously. Transparency is one of the most important parts of the industry and violators often go scot-free. The Full Tilt Poker Scandal and Black Friday sit are a few of the examples of such matters where transparency was compromised. It depends a lot on the judgment of Blieden. If he goes down to jail for the rest of his life, then many others might follow.,
However, with Blieden admitting to wire fraud and identity theft, the prison term might come down to 22 years. The decision on his fate would be made on March 20 by District Judge Andre Birotte Junior.
The case got substantially aggressive after the investigation shows the cover-up acts of Blieden. He tactfully covered everything up. He falsified account records and framed the transfer to his personal accounts as the ‘equity’ withdrawals. He showed that the withdrawals are owed to him by the company, Stylehaul. If that was not enough, he also forged letters from the Western Union. The payments were misrepresented by him as being to the clients whereas in actual it was to him.
However, what made things worse was identity theft. Blieden rented a property on the Rosarito Beach, Mexico. He forged the signature of a StyleHaul executive to do that. He purported that the condo was actually a business property. The property would be used by the clients and employees of StyleHaul. This made things worse for Blieden in the court plea.
The Poker player decided to gamble his life and accounts and that did not pay off well. Some people may see it daring and exciting and the jail term would help them understand the consequences of it. It is to be understood whether he is remorseful to avoid a very long jail term.