The former 888Poker sponsored pro, PokerStrategy coach and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Darren Woods faces a maximum jail term of 10 years, after pleading guilty to fraud offences linked to online gambling.
The case of Darren Woods, 29, and his father Morteza Gharoon, 56, has taken a dramatic twist, after the pair changed tact and pleading guilty to a portion of the charges laid at their doorstep.
Woods has pleaded guilty to nine counts of fraud by false representation, from the original 13 indictments, and his father, Iranian property developer, Gharoon, has pleaded guilty to a money laundering charge of a value not more than £230,000.
The pair has been warming their posteriors in Sheffield Crown Court, after the culmination of a criminal investigation that started back in 2011, by the Humberside Police Economic Crime Unit. Press reports indicate that ‘many well-known gambling companies’ have aided the team, but as of yet only iPoker’s Boylesports, and payment processor Skrill have been named in passing.
Darren’s dodgy dealings first came to light when a reg in the 888Poker and iPoker cash games, started a thread on 2+2 entitled: Allegations that Darren Woods also known, as Dooshcom on 888Poker is a cheater and a scammer. The thread was started by ‘feruell’ and alleged that Woods was guilty of multi-accounting and collusion on both online poker sites, under the names Dooshcom (888Poker) and Dingdonk1984 & Salamdolphie (iPoker).
Whilst reports coming out of the case are scant, what we have learned is that the focus of the case seems to be centered on affiliation fraud charges, whereby Woods, using false documentation provided by his father, opened a wide range of false accounts, to benefit from his affiliation with the skins.
Both Woods and his father had originally pleaded not guilty. His father even came out with the gem that although he provided his son with false documents, he never considered that he would use them for anything illegal (perhaps he was playing an adult version of Doctors and Nurses?).
The Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) website states that the statutory limitations and maximum penalty for the offence of “Fraud by False Representation” is a 10-year jail sentence. The pair were arrested on Nov 16, 2011 and in Dec 2011, a restraining order was served on both men effectively freezing all of their assets.
The pair is on bail pending sentencing, which is expected to take place on Dec 17, 2014.