U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan showed leniency in handing out two previous sentences to Black Friday payment processors, but didn't do so Thursday in sentencing Ira Rubin to three years in prison.
Calling Rubin an "unreformed con man and fraudster" for his role in processing illegal payments between poker players and the online sites of Absolute Poker, Full Tilt and PokerStars, the judge went beyond the sentencing guidelines of 18-24 months behind bars. Rubin admitted his guilt in January to conspiracy charges tied in with wire fraud, bank fraud, illegal gambling and money laundering and Kaplan believes the 54-year-old is not done with committing crimes. He expects Rubin to be released after serving his sentence with the intention of "trying to cook up some new scheme that in all likelihood will be illegal."
Rubin has been incarcerated since his arrest in April of 2011 in Guatemala, where authorities uncovered evidence that he was trying to flee to Thailand and hide out there rather than face the music. Prosecutors said that Rubin has been in trouble with the law since the 1970's in a handful of states including New York, Florida and Nevada. The Federal Trade Commission previously slapped an $8 million judgment on him for a payment processing business he ran in the mid-2000's that profited due to a fraudulent telemarketing scheme.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Arlo Devlin-Brown told the judge that Rubin had attempted to conceal some of his ill-gotten finances in Costa Rica--where he had been living since 2008--and that $5 million in funds that were ordered to be forfeited along with the three-year sentence may be difficult to wrangle out of the career criminal who now has a rap sheet that includes 15 convictions.
Rubin appeared remorseful at the sentencing hearing, crying several times and telling Kaplan that "I know this is my last chance to have a productive life." Rubin's attorney, Richard Finkel, told the judge that Rubin's parents, a brother, son, and other friends, were supporting him, which they hadn't done for decades. "I'm 54 years old and I'm tired of running. I just want to go home to my family," Rubin added.
Judge Kaplan wasn't buying it. He said Rubin is an "extremely high threat" in regards to committing crimes in the future and that society needed to be protected from his behavior that has been "brazen, quite deliberate and deceptive" in defying U.S. laws.
The judge previously sentenced John Campos to three months in jail and, earlier this week, Brent Beckley to 14 months in the slammer. Both also processed payments and were named in the Black Friday indictments. Those sentences were both on the low end of the recommended sentencing guidelines.