• Join Us
  • Follow Us
Poker News

Poker Pro Arrested for Tax Evasion

Written By: Maya Michaels | May 10, 2021 | Posted In Poker News

Earlier this week, a Connecticut businessman and part-time poker pro and sports bettor Guy Smith was sentenced to prison time for not paying taxes on poker wins.

In December 2020, Smith ‘waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today to one count of tax evasion’, and was facing a much lengthier sentence for his deliberate tax evasion.

Smith, who owns and operates Centerline Interiors LLC, a business that specializes in commercial interior construction, was repeatedly warned by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) that he had to declare his poker earnings, but refused to do so.

Reports of a pre-sentencing memo for Smith state he, “regularly engaged in gambling activities including playing in poker tournaments at local and out-of-state casinos.”

The memo adds:

“Smith used cash for his gambling business by, in part, withdrawing funds from his Centerline business and his personal bank accounts. Occasionally, Smith did well in the various poker games and poker tournaments and made money doing so. Defendant Smith also engaged in illegal sports betting.”

Despite being repeatedly warned that he had to declare his poker and gambling winnings, the memo states that Smith, “engaged in an affirmative act of evasion by wilfully concealing from and not informing his tax return preparer regarding his gambling income or about the existence of his PayPal account into which his winnings were deposited.”

Smith’s 14-month sentence, followed by two years’ supervised release, was less than prosecutors had wanted in the case. In his defence, Smith put forward the argument that he was unable to offset losses against his poker and sportsbetting earnings.

“The Government understands the argument that as a gambler Smith should be allowed to net his winnings against his losses as a matter of course, however that is not the law. Moreover, the fact that …Smith also engaged in illegal sports betting and broke an additional law that is not accounted for in his criminal history nor as part of other relevant conduct, should not now be a benefit.”

Smith will now have to pay $821,415 in federal income taxes, as well as all outstanding taxes, interest and penalties, and must report to prison in late June to serve his sentence.

Leave a Reply