November 1, 2022 Featured Articles, Poker Gossip, Poker News Lars Liedtke

Jeremy Ausmus accused of using PPP funds for High Roller buy-in

High stakes poker pro Jeremy Ausmus has been all but accused of using a $10,000+ PPP pandemic loan to buy into a high roller tournament, poker Twitter’s latest anonymous bugbear of the rich and famous firing shots…

Ausmus Poker LLC received $10,910 in February of 2021, just weeks before Ausmus played the Wynn Spring classic $10k highroller, cashing for $33,200.

The PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) was set up by the US government to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Massive scam

However, the scheme was so open to abuse that it was described as “the biggest fraud in a generation” and “the scam that ruined America’s economy”.

Although there is no evidence that Ausmus’ loan was unwarranted, ThePokerKaren account on Twitter – who has recently been butting heads with Hustler Casino Live boss, Nick Vertucci – was playing it for laughs…

As pointed out by others, Ausmus’ Hendon Mob listing was sitting at around $8million when the pandemic hit, with the Wynn Spring Classic of 2021 launching what would become a $5million sun-run over the next 18 months, including a $1,188,918 WSOP $50k PLO bracelet win.

Anonymous accusations

ThePokerKaren account, whose anonymity was apparently under threat as Nick Vertucci set his investigators on the case, revealed his motives for picking  on Ausmus.

“I’ll default back to… He played a 10k high roller a couple of weeks later. As I have no real answer/motive. Other than to bust balls on account of his whining recently about coming in 2nd place in a bracelet event to a relative unknown.”

Ausmus, who has yet to respond to the questions surrounding his forgiven PPP loan, was not the only poker player to benefit from government aid during the pandemic…

PPP loans for notable poker companies: WPT Enterprises Inc: $697,087 Card Player Media LLC: $156,371 Solve For Why Academy LLC: $67,026 Minnesota Poker Magazine LLC: $40,561 Ante Up Poker Media LLC: $25,331 Red Chip Poker LLC: $20,430 Learn Pro Poker LLC: $11,900

There is no suggestion that any of those poker companies did anything wrong, but it has raised some questions about those involved in online poker business being somehow affected enough to claim compensation.

$80 billion fraud

An NBC report earlier this year estimated that $80billion of the $800billion paid out in total PPP was fraudulently obtained, and we reported in March how a poker player scammed $88million in pandemic-related healthcare fraud.

Poker player Billy Taylor from Arkansas, described as “a special type of whale” by a fellow poker player on Twitter, was arrested on charges of defrauding the US government, including $42 million related to fake COVID-19 tests.

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