The US Attorney’s Office at the Central District of California recently released the details of an ongoing case involving a renowned poker lord who has stolen from his employer for risky personal cryptocurrency investments.
The 30 years old poker player, Dennis Blieden, who worked for StyleHaul Inc. – a digital marketing firm that promotes influencers on social media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram – reportedly mismanaged $22 million of the firm’s funds during his time there.
According to the plea deal he cut with the prosecution, Blieden, who worked as the controller and vice president of the firm’s accounting and finance department from October 2015 to March 2019, agreed to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Apparently, the poker player found a way to deceive his employer and redirected the company’s funds for his own personal use. The accused confessed to manipulating paperwork in and out of the firm to cover his tracks. He made multiple false entries on the firm’s accounting records that show just where the funds are being allocated to, unbeknownst to the firm that it is being used for his personal expenses and crypto-gambling thirst.
The press release also shows that Blieden created false transfer letters that were supposedly from Western Union in a bid to cover his scheme. As if that was not enough, the poker player blinded the company into believing some of the amount being transferred to his personal bank account were equity draws the firm owed him. All of these were later revealed to be blatant lies.
On the count of aggravated identity theft, the accused admitted to renting a condominium for himself in Mexico in disguise that the company needs it for business purposes. Turns out the company had no business with the property and, as a matter of fact, the whole idea from the start is to get it for himself.
Adding to that, the plea deal pointed to the fact that the accused used the company’s funds to finance his gambling spree, especially cryptocurrency gambling. The court document shows that he wired a total of $1.2 million in personal checks to poker players and another $8.5 million was used to top up his crypto wallets. The FBI was also able to track another $1.1 million that he used to pay off his credit card loans.
The accused has since been relieved of his duties at StyleHaul and he is currently awaiting his sentence hearing scheduled for March 20th, where he may face a sentence of 22 years in federal prison.