Case dismissed: Malaysian businessman and high-stakes poker player cleared of illegal gambling charges
The illegal gambling indictment against the high-stakes poker player and wealthy Malaysian businessman Wei Seng “Paul” Phua has been dismissed due to improper collection of evidence issued by the FBI.
Known to every poker fan, pro player Phua, who plays online under the moniker “MalACEsia”, was arrested with seven others including his son Darren Wai Kit in Las Vegas following an illegal betting operation involving the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Reportedly, Phua, together with his 22-year-old son, Chinese businessman and Macau high-stakes regular Sen Chen Yong and his son Wai Kin Yong and four more Chinese and Malaysian nationals, was allegedly responsible for that illegal betting ring.
However, Phua strongly denied his involvement in such charges throughout the investigation, despite six others accused pleading guilty. They were fined and sentenced to five years of probation.
Amidst Phua’s alleged case, high-stakes regulars Phil Ivey, Andrew Robl and Daniel Cates pledged for the bails of both Phua and Yong– a combined $4.5 million. After the bail, the Malaysian poker player decided to fight his legal battle.
His legal battle continued until U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon said that the FBI “went too far” with their operation that was carried out in violation of Phua’s rights. With Gordon’s favorable decision, the businessman was given a little hope.
And to Phua’s great relief, his case was finally dismissed by Judge Gordon. According to Las Vegas Review-Journal, Judge Gordon’s decision came after the prosecutors admitted they no longer had the evidence needed for a trial that was supposed to begin later this month, against the 50-year-old businessman and poker player. Along with the case dismissal, the US District judge ordered the government to return Phua’s passport and his private jet.
For sure, poker enthusiasts and high-stakes regulars are ready to throw a big party for Phua because he is now allowed to play poker in Las Vegas again. Already, we can’t wait to see Phua’s big comeback.
See you at the poker table soon, MalACEsia!