It was uncovered this past weekend by the Las Vegas Review Journal that top poker pros posted $2.5 million in bail money to try and see the release of Paul Phua and son Darren from prison based on their alleged involvement in an illegal sports betting ring. Paul is a Malaysian businessman that has been accused of running an illegal sports betting operation associated with World Cup Soccer. Both Phil Ivey and Andrew Robl reportedly posted large amount of cash for bail in the hopes that the two men would be released from prison.
However, despite posting at least $1 million each, the Phuas were not released from federal custody. The Las Vegas Journal stated the men were not released as part of a separate detention by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division (ICE) of Homeland Security. Ivey posted $1 million and Robl put up the remaining $1.5 million in bail money but both men were not released.
It was also reported that Tom Dwan was on site during the time frame when Paul and Darren were arrested. An FBI raid took place last month and Dawn was there at the time as well as during the court proceedings. Both Darren and Paul are represented by David Chesnoff and their attorney has stated the defense team would be challenging the detention by ICE.
Chesnoff stated in the Review article that both clients have complied with each condition set by the federal judge for their release. Contact has repeatedly been attempted with ICE authorities but no response has been made, so further legal action will be taken to try and have the two men released.
Although Paul denies being part of organized crime, authorities believe the Paul Phua is a 14K Triad member and is involved in illegal sports betting. The group is allegedly known for being involved in criminal acts such as illegal gambling, loan sharking and drug trafficking, among other activities.
It was not until late Monday that both men were released from custody by federal immigration. Chesnoff stated that they are grateful both men were set free and they look forward to telling their side of the story in court.
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