27-year old Robert Gorodetsky, a man once described as the possible ‘future face of sports gambling’ and who has several poker cashes recorded on the Hendon Mob, has this week pleaded guilty to a $9.6million wire fraud scheme.
Gorodetsky a “compelling and controversial, albeit largely unknown, figures in sports”
A federal court in Chicago heard Gorodetsky admit to defrauding a single victim – known only as Individual A – out of $8.74million over four years, on the promise of huge returns through sportsbetting.
Gorodetsky portrayed himself as a flashy genius. He often posed with famous celebrities, footballing legend David Beckham’s son Odell, and the musician Drake among them.
A USA Today article on him in 2017 described him as “one of the most compelling and controversial, albeit largely unknown, figures in sports.”
It described how he turned up to an interview in the Aria’s High Limit Lounge wearing a $6,000 hoodie, $2500 high-top trainers and a $47,000 Hublot watch he claimed to have bought while drunk.
The article also said that Gorodetsky wagered “well over $1 million” on sporting events during one single week with reporters.
The luxury lifestyle he led saw him spend $2.2million on living, travel and entertainment expenses. “For purposes unrelated to wagering on specific sporting events,” according to prosecutors, and including “luxury automobiles and jewelry.”
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Rob Gorodetsky, 25, monitors a bet as he watches the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns NBA game at the High Limit Lounge in Aria hotel-casino in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 17, 2017. #lasvegas #vegas #sincity #gamblr #gamble #highroller #photojournalism #myfeatureshoot #photooftheday #imageoftheday @bigrobstyle
Gorodetsky charged with wire fraud and filing a false tax return
The money came from a dastardly scheme that saw him promise ‘Individual A’ that he would pool his own money with his mark’s investment, with profits and losses shared.
An initial investment of $953,000 in early 2014 saw Gorodetsky put $737,388 of it to “his own personal use”, according to court records.
However, a few months later, Gorodetsky told his investor they now had $2million from stock market investment, which he would now use for sportsbetting.
Faking statements to show how well they were doing convinced his unfortunate mark to hand over another $8.74million between July 2014 and November 2017.
When his scheme came unstuck, prosecutors charged Gorodetsky with one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. He pleaded guilty to both charges this week, the fraudster caught on camera leaving court…
High-rolling gambler Robert Gorodetsky pleaded guilty today in a $9.6 million wire fraud scheme.
Gorodetsky took his glasses off, pulled his hood up & tried to sneak out of federal court without photographers noticing. I chased him across State Street. https://t.co/rNvgdq8iKw pic.twitter.com/EEMzCWOZWF
— Ashlee Rezin Garcia (@Ashlee_Rezin) February 5, 2020
Gorodetsky is facing a long prison sentence
The false tax return charge was based on his 2016 filing claim that he had earned only $10,520, prosecutors claiming “knew that his total income substantially exceeded that amount.”
When the original USA Today story broke, the swindler told reporters he had been banned from Las Vegas casinos.
“I’m banned for life basically from Vegas, my life is over basically, but nothing I can do,” he complained. Even though it is well-known that casinos and sportsbooks keep records of scammers and dubious gamblers.
Gorodetsky’s poker results have been patchy, with just six results over the past 8 years. However, one of these was a very decent 10th place finish for $98,820 in the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.
The $25k buy-in High Roller saw Gorodetsky vie with some big names. He played against former WSOP Main Event winner Greg Merson, Jeff Gross, and Chance Kornuth. Nicholas Maimone won the tournament for $996,480.
Since then he has had only one small cash. It was a $1000 payout in the $360 buy-in Ultimate Re-Entry event at the 2019 Lucky Hearts Poker Open in Hollywood, Florida.
A Patch.com article this week reported that Gorodetsky was suspended from high school for running poker games. Moreover, he was ordered to repay $59,000 to professional poker player Jeremy Joseph and his mother. They ‘sued him over allegations of financial mismanagement’ in 2014.
Gorodetsky’s sentencing hearing was scheduled for April 29 where he faces up to six years in prison.
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