Poker Pro Travell Thomas made a name for himself on the poker circuit in 2011 when he won the WSOP Circuit Caesars Atlantic City Event #6: No-Limit Hold’em and took home $30,445.
He would later go on to win the WSOP Circuit Caesars Palace Event #1: No-Limit Hold’em in 2013 and take home $30,371.
He also has 2 World Series of Poker Circuit gold rings and over $500,000 in career prize money.
It appears that Thomas wasn’t satisfied with his poker winnings and decided to get involved with an extortion racket. The United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York has filed a case against a total of 15 individuals thought to be part of a gang of extortionists who tricked people via a fraudulent debt collection scam. Thomas is not only one of the fifteen but is suspected of being the ringleader and the president and co-owner of the company that ran this extortion scheme.
The case was filed by Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York who was also responsible for the infamous Black Friday crackdown and the indictments of a number of key individuals. Thomas and his company have been accused of running a massive scam and defrauding individuals to the tune of $31 million. The 37 year old Thomas is suspected to have carried out these activities between 2010 and 2015 and tricked hundreds of people all across the nation.
The lawsuit states that Thomas had personally collected over $750,000 in cash over the years and used that money to gamble, get married, buy jewelry and pay for his wife’s cosmetic surgery.
Thomas and his team managed to fool people by posing as local governmental officials or agents who were associated with the local law enforcement agency.
In a statement, Bharara said
As alleged, the defendants engaged in what is believed to be the largest fraudulent debt collection scheme ever to be prosecuted, falsely threatening arrest and prosecution of countless Americans, including those who suffered from disabilities. The defendants charged today allegedly took ruthless advantage of the desperate situation in which their victims found themselves, using threats and lies to coerce payment and even trying to collect more money than the victims ever owed
Bharara credited his team of criminal investigators for uncovering this massive debt collection scam and is looking forward to bringing these 15 individuals to justice.