The operator of Seals with Clubs, Bryan Micon, has agreed to a guilty plea in a case based in Las Vegas to avoid serious jail time. According to Micon’s lawyer Richard Schonfeld, the poker site owner will have to complete probation of an undetermined amount based on a felony count of operating an unlicensed internet gaming system within the state of Nevada as well as pay a $25,000 fine. If Micon completes the probation and pays the fine, he will have the charge reduced to one of a gross misdemeanor.
A single complaint by a Belgian resident to the Gaming Control Board began the investigation into Seals with Clubs, as the board had no idea the site was in operation. By using Bitcoin, an online currency, Micon felt as though the site was legit based on the law.
After the investigation began, officials were able to gather information which included using Skype to determine that the site was earning $10,000 to $12,000 each month in profits. Once officials obtained enough information, they raided Micon’s home and confiscated related evidence including 3.0996 Bitcoins, computers and cash, which Micon has now agreed to give up due to the plea agreement.
Once the raid took place, Micon fled the country, heading to Antiqua. It was just a few days ago that the warrant for his arrest was lifted and he was free to travel to Las Vegas to face charges. According to court documents, the Seals with Clubs site, accepted Bitcoin currency and was in operation from March 1st of 2015 to February 9th of 2015. During that time frame, the site had not procured a license to operate within the state.
Micon can withdraw his plea if the judge presiding over the case is not in agreement with the probation deal. The original gaming charge faced by Micon carries a maximum jail time of 10 years with a $50,000 fine. This case has been marked as the first time prosecution has taken place towards an online poker site that used digital currency rather than standard options.
Micon was released and is scheduled back in court July 6th to learn the final details of the deal.