Erik Seidel and John Juanda have filed lawsuits against fellow poker player Ali Fazeli, who is accused of running a multimillion-dollar sports ticket scam.
Poker Pros File Lawsuit
Fazeli — who regularly competed in high roller tournaments in 2016 at Aria in Las Vegas and has lifetime live tournament earnings of more than $2 million, according to Hendon Mob — was arrested in March and charged with two felony counts of wire fraud.
The charges stemmed from his alleged use of investor money, intended to buy and sell Super Bowl tickets for profit, to instead play high stakes poker games as well as pay off gambling debts.
Fazeli’s legal issues have since gotten even worse. According to court documents obtained by CardPlayer, poker legends Seidel and Juanda claim to have been scammed by the pro and, thus, have filed a lawsuit against their fellow poker player.
Seidel, Juanda, and another poker pro, Zachary Clark, claim in the lawsuit, which was filed in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, to have handed Fazeli $1.3 million to buy and resell 2017 Super Bowl tickets for profit. According to the court documents, the agreement was for the investors and Fazeli’s ticket brokerage, Summit Entertainment Group, to split the profits.
The lawsuit says Seidel and Clark each invested $500,000, while Juanda shipped the accused scammer $300,000 weeks prior to the NFL’s championship game. But instead of using those funds to purchase Super Bowl tickets, Fazeli is alleged to have used the money for his own purposes.
Not the Only Victims
Seidel and Juanda, both Poker Hall of Fame members, aren’t the only ones to have been allegedly scammed by Fazeli. An 18-month FBI investigation into his business dealings uncovered a lengthy history of Fazeli’s shady practices.
In March 2015, for example, the poker pro apparently pulled off a similar scam on prominent Republican donor Mel Sembler.
Sembler claims he gave Fazeli $5 million to buy and sell major sporting event tickets for profit, including the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.
Per Sembler’s lawsuit, Fazeli told him the ticket sales went well and convinced him to let his winnings ride on the 2017 Super Bowl. After the game ended, the supposed ticket sales were deemed a rousing success and the accused scam artist convinced his investor to again continue chasing good fortune by investing the profits on the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
But Sembler never received the agreed-upon payments and started becoming suspicious, leading the GOP donor to eventually file a $5 million lawsuit.
According to separate court documents also obtained by CardPlayer, Fazeli faces a civil suit against the Aria casino also, for allegedly failing to pay back $2.1 million worth of casino markers.
Those civil issues appear to be the least of his worries. On the criminal front, he faces two felony wire fraud charges, which could earn him as much as 20 years per count in prison.