Helly Nahmad was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. Katya Kazakina filed shortly after the sentencing:
U.S. prosecutors argued Nahmad deserved a harsher sentence because he pleaded guilty to being a leader and participating in a high-stakes gambling ring catering to celebrities and the very rich. They sought a prison term of one year to 18 months.
During his November plea, Nahmad acknowledged that he was the leader and organizer of the gaming business, the primary source of financing and was entitled to a substantial share of the ring’s profits.
The AP adds this interchange between Nahmad’s lawyer and the judge:
But the judge said that wiretap evidence showed that Nahmad wasn’t just “the rich kid who is getting used.”
In one conversation, Nahmad discussed booking bets with someone who had just gotten out of a rehabilitation clinic.
“We knock this guy off for one million bucks,” Nahmad said. “His dad is a multimillionaire.”
The judge also questioned Brafman about a photo published in the New York Post shortly after Nahmad’s arrest, showing him wearing a cap with a playing card on it and sitting courtside at a New York Knicks game next to the lawyer. Prosecutors suggested Nahmad was making light of the case.
Brafman said he was just trying to cheer up his despondent client by taking him to the game and Nahmad randomly grabbed the hat on the way out the door to conceal his identity.
“That’s how the stupid photo occurred. … Blame me,” Brafman said.