Two-time World Series of Poker Circuit gold ring winner, Travell Thomas, is attempting to depose prosecutor Preet Bharara, on race charges, in his battle to avoid 40-years in prison over fraudulent debt collection agency scheme.
The double World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring winner, Travell Thomas, wants to see prosecutor Preet Bharara sent to the rail in his bid to fight charges that could see him playing his poker behind bars for the next 40-years.
The former poker player is one of 15 people who once made a lot of money working for a fraudulent debt collection agency allegedly using ‘coercive’ methods to extract $31m from thousands of victims between Jan 2010 and Nov 2014.
Thomas and his legal team are currently in court fighting the charges and they have announced that they would like a judge to depose Manhattan Attorney Preet Bharara because they believe the indictment is ‘racially motivated.’
Lawyers representing Thomas, who is black, have told the court that Bharara has only successful prosecuted two people in connection with debt collection agency crimes, and both were black, whereas non-black owners tend to resolve their cases by paying a fine to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Bharara and his team are fighting the allegations and labelled them as ‘rank speculation. The argument put forward by the prosecution is the non-black cases were infractions that fell outside of the criminal justice system.
In 2013, Quartz magazine referred to Bharara as the most hated man in India at that time due to his involvement in the Devyani Khobragade scandal. Khobragade was serving as the Indian Deputy Consul General in New York when officials arrested her and subjected her to a cavity search for making false statements on a visa application for a housekeeper she decided to pay more than the minimum wage. Bharara was born in India.
Thomas has won over a half a million dollars playing live tournament poker in the States including nine victories, eight WSOP cashes, and four World Poker Tour (WPT) cashes.
He won his first WSOPC gold ring in 2011 defeating 155 entrants in a $830 buy-in event at Caesars Atlantic City for $30,455. He earned his second in 2013 when he defeated 471 participants in the $365 buy-in event held in Caesars Las Vegas.
The case continues.