Poker champion Travell Thomas is sentenced to 8 years in prison for $31 million debt fraud


Posted on the 22nd of April 2017

Poker champion Travell Thomas is sentenced to 8 years in prison for $31 million debt fraud

Travell Thomas, 38, a former professional poker player with $500K in tournament winnings was recently sentenced to 8 years and 4 months in prison for a $31 million debt collection scam. According to investigators, while heading the debt collection business “Four Star Resolution”, Thomas made false threats and representations to thousands of people nationwide.

Prosecutors accused Thomas of teaching his employees to frighten debt-ridden consumers by claiming they had committed crimes and that law enforcement or prosecutors would pursue them, or they would face lawsuits.

On November 1, 2016, Thomas pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, and agreed to serve up to 15.5 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release and was ordered to forfeit $31 million.

Thomas believes that his gambling addiction drove him to this behavior.

‘I would spend days at the casinos,’ Thomas told US District Judge Katherine Polk Failla. ‘I wouldn’t even change my clothes.’

“I didn’t spend much time at the office. I spent most of my time gambling,’ he told Judge Failla before he was given a sentence of 8 years and 4 months in prison, commencing in September.

Assistant US Attorney Edward Imperatore said that greed motivated Thomas who spent the profits from his business mostly on himself including season tickets to Buffalo Bills games, gold, lavish trips, jewelry, cars, casino entertainment and gambling.

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