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Published Articles about D. Andrew Beal

Hes a Public Figure Who

Damages His Own Reputation
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High-Stakes Poker

Pocket Aces: Tycoons, Celebrities, Oligarchs

and Algorithms
Inside the high-stakes poker games at the heart of shocking indictments
By Ken Kurson 04/17/13 9:01pm

Helly Nahmad poses in front of a Picasso. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)

As The Observerand every other news outlethas been scrambling to report in detail, the city is abuzz over
the high-profile indictment and arrests of figures in an art-world money laundering scheme involving seven-
figure card games, international sports betting rings and mixed martial arts fighters who played the Rocky
Balboa role of debt collector. Now, The Observer has exclusive information on the high-stakes poker
games at the heart of the ongoing investigation.
To recap, heres what we know so far.
Art dealer and collector Hillel (Helly) Nahmad, who runs the Helly Nahmad Gallery inside the Carlyle Hotel
on Madison Avenue, was named in a sweeping federal criminal indictment in which it
is alleged that the 34-year-old Mr. Nahmad joined with Russians named
Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov and Vadim Trincher to launder millions of dollars.
According to the indictment:
The Nahmad-Trincher Organization used online gambling websites, operating illegally in the United States, to
operate an illegal gambling business that generated tens of millions of dollars in bets each year.
The Nahmad-Trincher Organization laundered the proceeds of the gambling operation through a host of
American bank accounts and Titan P & H LLC (Titan), a plumbing company in the Bronx that the Nahmad-
Trincher Organization acquired a fifty percent interest in as repayment of a gambling debt.
The Nahmad family, descended from a banking dynasty in Aleppo, Syria, is one
of the richest and most powerful art-dealing dynasties in the world according to Forbes, which estimates the
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family fortune at more than $3 billion, citing, in addition to the New York gallery and another in London that is
run by a cousin (also named Helly Nahmad), a warehouse near Geneva International Airport said to hold up to
5,000 works of art, including 300 Picassos.According to Forbes, the FBIs Eurasian Organized
Crime Squad uncovered high-stakes poker and sports-betting dens that were
frequented by prominent New Yorkers in the financial, sports and
entertainment fields.
The Observer can share for the first time details of the high-stakes card games mentioned in the indictment as
COUNT TWENTY (Illegal Poker Business). At least five sources have come forward to discuss with The
Observer the inner workings of these high-stakes card games. All agreed to speak on the condition that they
would not be identified. They include two people who personally attended the games in question, one who
helped run the games for many months, and a fourth who is intimately involved in business transactions with
many of those named in the indictment.
Several sources with firsthand knowledge of the games named some of the players, including household names
in the world of finance such asDaniel Andrew Andy Beal, chairman of Beal Bank, who
makes no secret of his enjoyment of and expertise in poker, along with others who are less eager to publicize
their affinity for Texas hold em. According to two sources, one well-known financier is there every week.
Also spotted at some of the citys high-stakes games have been boldfaced Hollywood names like Tobey
Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nick Cassavetes, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
Its unknown how these allegations will impact those who are not named in the indictment but are alleged to
have played in the games. According to no fewer than five sources, one regular player from the finance world
who is active in high-level political fund-raising is very nervous about the indictment and arrests.

Both Helly Nahmad and The Russians (Messrs. Tokhtakhounov and

Trincher) have apartments in Trump Tower. One resident of Trump
Tower told The Observer, Id see these guys for three to four years coming into
Trump Tower, and they didnt live there. They would go not to Hellys but to the
Russians apartment. Other times theyd go to The Plaza. One thing Ill say about Helly, I have
never seen a human being who has more good-looking girls.
One gentleman The Observer spoke to worked at the card games. He quit a few months ago when various poker
players started getting calls from the feds. They started contacting professional players and anyone potentially
involved for information and confirmation months ago, and have been trying to bust the case for a while, he
A source close to Eugene and Ilya Trincherthe sons of Vadim Trincher, who is named in the indictment, as is
Eugeneclaims that the elder Mr. Trincher is a mystery, even to the sons closest friends. Nobody
knows what Vadims business actually is, because Vadim doesnt talk to
The former employee claims that Eugene and Ilya Trincher were partners in heading the sports-betting
operations, and that the younger Trinchers were the go-to sports betting option for many Russian and Ukrainian
oligarchs. Apparently they werent bookmakers in the traditional sense, in which the goal is simply to line up
even amounts of capital on both sides of a bet and live off the 10 percent vigorish collected from losing bettors.
Instead, they had created an algorithm that predicted which teams would win. Ilya Trincher was rumored to
be living in one of the priciest houses in L.A., with rent anywhere between $40,000 and $50,000, alleged to be
funded by sports gambling money, including bets of up to $1 million per game.
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One source said that Edwin Ting (known as Eddie, also indicted) ran the highest-stakes poker games in New
York, probably made more money than anyone else ever did playing poker in New York. The source
continued, Hes just a Chinese guy from Queens, graduated from Baruch College. His wife was a poker dealer,
now hes a millionaire (and a real scumbag, by the way).

According to a source with knowledge of Russian organized crime, the

first person listed in the indictment, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, known as
Taiwanchik, is from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and has the highest ranking
you can have in the Russian prison system. Hes part of the prison
brotherhood. They sit in jail with newspapers, caviar and laptops.
Another part of the sports betting picture is Noah Siegel, known as The Oracle, who was also indicted.
According to the former employee, The Oracle wasnt involved in business decisions; instead, he was the
smart kid with glasses who knows every player on every team and would pick the winning teams with the goal
of bankrupting traditional bookmakers.

Billionaire Banker Andy Beal May Have Lost "Up

To $50 Million" In Just Three Recent Poker Games

Katya Wachtel
Jul. 7, 2011, 4:23 PM

Billionaire banker Andy Beal has had his fair share of wins at the poker table.
Recently, however, he's been on a losing streak.

Beal "lost up to $50 million" in three poker games in recent months, "where players
put up a $1 million buy-in," according to the New York Post.
The games reportedly involved Tobey Maguire -- celeb poker aficionado currently at the center of another
poker scandal -- and leverage buyout billionaire Alec Gores.
A Beal representative denied the number was as high as $50 million and told the Post: "The amounts stated in
your e-mail to us concerning Mr. Beal are inaccurate. Beyond that, Mr. Beal has no further comment."
Beal, recognized "as the poker player who won more money in a poker game in a single day than any other
known poker player," once lost $16.6 million to poker king Phil Ivey. After that, he was rumored to have
stopped playing poker, promising to quit the game forever.
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But since then, he's been "spotted in Vegas playing a poker game at Bellagio... [H]e was only there for business,
and couldnt help but play a little poker," according to Perhaps he's not playing the pros
anymore, but he's still playing.
Beal, of eponymous Beal Bank, dropped out of college to play poker and made enough in winnings to start his
own business -- now a billion dollar Texas-based bank.
"During the height of his poker playing days, he would play some of the biggest names in the game for pots that
often exceeded $1 million," the WSJ said.
Carl Icahn once said of Beal, "I always thought of myself as a good player. But I'm not in his league."

Todd Brunson Purportedly Takes Andy Beal for $5

Million in Bobby's Room
January 24, 2015 | Chad Holloway

He's back! Andy Beal was spotted late Friday night and early Saturday morning playing heads-up limit
hold'em with blinds of $50,000/$100,000 in Bobby's Room at Bellagio against Todd Brunson. According to
poker pro Kyle Loman, who was live tweeting the match while playing in a different game outside the high-
stakes room, each bought in for $5 million, and when all was said and done, Brunson held all the chips.
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Few amateur players have shook the poker world quite like Beal, a Texas billionaire who made his fortune
through real estate and banking. In 2001 and 2004, Beal grew fond of playing high-stakes heads-up limit
hold'em, which he played against a group of poker players nicknamed "The Corporation" in a legendary game
documented in Michael Craig's classic book, The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the
Richest Poker Game of All Time.
As Craig described it, Beal won and lost millions in the game as he circulated through players such as Ted
Forrest, Jen Harman, Phil Ivey, and both Todd and Doyle Brunson. Despite winning a massive $11.7 million
pot on May 13, 2004, Beal ended up quitting the game with a loss, only to return in Feb. 2006 for more action.
He quickly lost $3.3 million, went on a three-day $13.6 million upswing, and then lost $16.6 million to Ivey in a
separate three-day match. It was at that point Beal claimed he was done with poker.
Since then there have been rumors that Beal has dabbled in limit hold'em, his favorite game, which, earlier this
month, scientists claimed they solved. Those rumors were unsubstantiated, but on Friday, Jan. 23, Beal's most
recent return was confirmed thanks to the rise of social media and Loman's reports.
"Andy Beal playing HU 50K/100K with Todd Brunson in Bobby's Room. I'm about to lose my mind," Loman
reported in the first of a series of tweets. "All pink 25K chips now. Todd with six million and Beal with four
million+. If they started with five, which is what I thought I saw, Todd up a milly.

Loman did snap a quick picture (see right), one that shows
"Texas Dolly" sweating his son, and you can see that to the
Here are some other updates Loman tweeted throughout the

"There was almost 20 people in the room at the start of the

game. Down to pretty much just Doyle watching now.
"Doyle went to bed it appears. The battle continues though"
"Todd continuing to win. Got about 8 million to Beal's 2."
"Beal with a solid heater. Todd: 5.5 Beal 4.5"
"Todd Building towers. Looks about the same. His demeanor
is the same as always. Sitting backward in the chair, his
emotions unchanged."
"Todd: 7 Beal: 3. There's only 3 people in Bobby's Room
now. Todd, Beal, and the dealer."
"Brunson crushing now. Has 8.5m+ to Beal's less than 1.5m"
"Todd just felted Beal. They fist bumped and he left the room.
They're done for tonight. Todd wins 5 million. More updates
tomorrow hopefully."

An image of the game from Loman's Twitter account

So according to Loman, Brunson relieved Beal of $5 million. Brunson himself tweeted the following after the
match had ended: "We came to a nice steak house without a reservation. Big line. They asked if we were
celebrating anything. I said yes I won 5 mil yesterday."

Whether or not Beal will return remains to be seen, but if his past behavior is any indication, he'll return for
another shot at besting Brunson, or whoever is willing to sit down and play him for such monster stakes.
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Dallas Lawyers Battle Banker Andy Beal & Plano

Vulture Fund
By Mark Curriden (March 10, 2017) Owls Lawyers for BB&T argue that the settlement was
Head was planned to be a plush Central Florida legally justified and that LNV not only did not lose
inland residential resort about 20 minutes money it actually profited from the settlement.
from the Gulf of Mexico with hundreds of
So far, BB&T and its legal counsel at Kane Russell
upper-income homes and mini-mansions set on
Coleman & Logan in Dallas are winning, but the
1,600 acres.
fight is only halfway through round two.

A federal judge in Florida

ruled that while BB&T
technically breached its
contract agreement with
LNV, the North Texas fund
suffered no financial losses
or damages because of the
breach. LNV has appealed to
the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the 11th Circuit in Atlanta.
Then the Great Recession hit. Only two houses The appeal represents LNVs latest attempt
were actually built. Public interest in the project to wring even more profit out of a troubled
never materialized. The developers defaulted on loan, KRCL partners David Clem and Kenneth
two loans for a combined $36 million. The banks Johnston, who represent BB&T, said in court
holding the debts failed. documents. LNV used its profits to fund this
lawsuit against BB&T.
Two financial institutions BB&T of North
Carolina and Plano-based LNV Corp, a subsidiary Lawyers for LNV and Beal did not respond to
of Beal Bank saw an opportunity for a financial requests for comment.
windfall and swooped in to acquire the bad
loans. BB&T paid the reduced book value, while The dispute dates back to 2005 when Owls Head
LNV bought the distressed debt for nickels on Development and JLD Freeport Investments
the dollar. borrowed $36 million to design and develop the
residential community due west of Destin, FL.
But now, BB&T and LNV each represented by
Dallas lawyers are mired in fierce, five-year- Alabama-based Colonial Bank loaned $26 million
long breach-of-contract litigation against each in 2005 to the two companies, but then sold
other in federal court over $7.4 million. 23 percent of the loan to Magnet Bank, which
was headquartered in Utah. Colonial loaned
LNV, a vulture fund that lists North Texas banker another $10 million to one of the developers.
Andy Beal as its only director, claims that BB&T But the project hit tough times and the
improperly settled a lawsuit with the original developers defaulted on the loans. >
developers of Owls Head for far too little money.

2017 The Texas Lawbook 1

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Colonial was simultaneously engulfed in a Because BB&T breached the agreement by
financial fraud scandal. Magnet also failed. proceeding with the loan modification despite
The FDIC took over both banks and sold LNVs refusal to consent, the contractual
Colonials 77 percent to BB&T and Magnets expectations of LNV and its assignor can be
interest to LNV. BB&T bought most of Colonials protected and fulfilled only by awarding LNV
assets, including the banks share of the Owls the repurchase price that BB&T would have had
Head $26 million note, for $18 million. to pay had it complied with the agreement,
Pennington wrote in a brief to the 11th Circuit
LNV paid $197,000 to
Court of Appeals.
purchase the 23 percent
share of the $26 million BB&T breached the agreement, but it has paid
debt on September 2009. only $577,000, Pennington stated. If BB&T
had complied with the agreement, the only way
In 2009, BB&T sued
it could have modified the loan documents
the individuals behind
without LNVs consent would have been to pay
the Owls Head project,
LNV $7,975,970.
including development
David Clem president Douglas Duncan. Pennington pointed out
While LNV did not join that documents shows that
the lawsuit, BB&T lawyers notified LNV of all Duncans net worth was
court proceedings and invited LNV officials to $48 million and that he had
attend hearings and mediations, according to the ability to pay more.
legal records.
LNV and Beal, who has
During the two years of litigation, been a major contributor
LNV never commented on any of these notices, to tort reform efforts in
never objected to any litigation strategy and Kenneth Johnston Texas, also sought punitive
never appeared at mediation, Clem points out in damages.
court documents.
BB&T denied that it had breached its contractual
As the litigation proceeded, the value of the agreement with LNV and claimed that LNVs
property plummeted. The Owls Head loan had damage estimate was based on speculation,
a book value of $16.2 million in 2009, but had conjecture and guesswork. BB&Ts lawyers
been marked down to $1.47 million by July argued that it was far from certain that the bank
2011, according to financial records filed in would win a lawsuit against Duncan and even
the litigation. more unclear that its collection efforts would be
In August 2011, BB&T over the objection of
LNV agreed to accept $2.5 million to settle Chief U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers of
litigation over the original $26 million note. Pensacola ruled in June 2016 that BB&T had
BB&T gave $577,000 of the settlement to LNV breached its contract with LNV, but she awarded
a $280,000 profit. LNV no damages.

LNV hired Dallas lawyer James Pennington to The court is not persuaded that BB&Ts decision
sue BB&T for breach of contract. to settle the lawsuit without LNVs consent >

2017 The Texas Lawbook 2

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damaged LNV at all, because BB&T has not zero-damages award, BB&T has now been able
proved that it would have obtained a judgment to maximize its return to the detriment of
against Duncan in the underlying lawsuit for the both LNV and the FDIC.
full $34,557,929 owing on the Owls Head loan
That result cannot stand, LNVs petition stated.
or that it would have collected that sum from
Duncan thereafter, Judge Rodgers wrote. BB&Ts lawyers asked the 11th Circuit to rule
that the bank had the authority to settle the
The evidence at trial showed that Duncans assets
case without LNVs consent, but also stated a
at the time of settlement were mostly illiquid,
willingness to accept a decision by the appellate
which would have made collection a difficult and
judges to simply uphold the lower courts opinion.
time consuming effort and that he had both the
means and intent to actively fight any collection After three years of discovery and five days
efforts against him, the judge ruled. of trial, LNV failed to show that it suffered any
damages, Clem wrote. It presented zero expert
Chief Judge Rodgers also rejected LNVs request
testimony in support of its alleged damages.
for legal fees.
[LNV] offered no analysis or evidence of the
LNV hired appellate law expert Jeffrey Levinger
value of its participation interest at any specific
of Dallas to lead its appeal to the 11th Circuit.
point in time the legal maneuvers it might take
Once BB&T decided to proceed with the to achieve a judgment against the obligors or the
settlement after LNV refused to consent, chances of success in the underlying lawsuits
this triggered a corresponding obligation to or later in collection efforts, Clem wrote in
pay LNV the purchase price for the benefit of BB&Ts briefs.
that bargain, Levinger and Pennington wrote
Please visit for more articles
in LNVs briefs to the federal appeals court.
on business law in Texas.
As a result of the district courts indefensible

2017 The Texas Lawbook 3

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Andy Beal is in Russia OMG!

May 7, 2012 Linda Leave a comment
Tony Gs latest blog post tells of being in Minsk playing poker in incredible action games. Quoting The G:
When I was in Minsk, I stayed at the Hotel Europa. And when I checked in, I saw Andy Beals Ferrari with
Florida plates. Its very nice to see Andy in Minsk nowadays.
Damn! I cant help but wonder if hes kickin it in PLO or if hes insisting on the heads-up play that he did
with the Corporation, and if hes wearing a timer in his sock, and just a whole bunch of things. And how much
did it cost to send his Ferrari to MinskI mean really. Not that he cares one way or the other about the money
side of it, Im just an ultra curious cat. I still think fondly of dealing to him at Bellagio. And I still love the
picture of Craig Singer, me, and Andy taken at the Wynn. Its in this post.
I did a phone interview with Chris Moneymaker some weeks ago. I would like to apologize to him for it taken
me so damned long to get it put up. My archaic manner of recording and transcribing is painfully slow to say
the least. I cant begin to tell you how impressed I am with Chris Moneymakers entire attitude about
everything. Hes sotogether. His life goals appear to be very much in order and hes not a lunatic that cant
wait to get busted. SWEET!
The interview was so long it went into a two-parter. Take a reading:

All In: The Poker Movie Q & A with Chris Moneymaker

All In: The Poker Movie Q & A with Chris Moneymaker Part II

Catch up more later on the personal side of lifesee ya!

Andy Beal in Minsk Russia in May, 2012

What was Putin sponsoring in Russia in 2012?
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Tony G - Official Website

Prague and the $25K High Roller

by Tony G on May 7, 2012

Today will find me leaving Lithuania for Prague. Im on my way to the Kings Casino to play the $25K High
Roller. There are plans for a streaming live cash game and that is one of my favorites in poker.

I returned to Lithuania recently from Minsk, Belarus and the big game Ive been playing. The game is
indescribable really; the chips are rolling across the floor, up the walls and across the ceiling, and just waiting to
be scooped up. The pots in PLO are so big you need pole vaulting skills to get over them and a bulldozer to
scrape them into your stack.

I love poker!!! It seems like the biggest games in the world are in Minsk right now. Its really a very incredible
place, very fun, as well as very safe. The night life is some of the best in the world and great night clubs put it
all together. And when Im not in a poker game, I am the night life. It is never too late to stop doing everything
and PARTY! Find me if you want to do it right.

When I was in Minsk, I stayed at the Hotel Europa. And when I checked in, I saw Andy Beals Ferrari with
Florida plates. Its very nice to see Andy in Minsk nowadays.

Prague and poker, Im on my way!

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Billionaire banker Beal buys $100 million Hicks

estate in biggest home deal in Dallas history
By Steve Brown
Realtors say its the biggest home sale in Dallas history.
Businessman Tom Hicks 25-acre North Dallas estate has just changed hands.
With a price tag of $100 million, the 28,000-square-foot mansion has been purchased by Dallas financier Andy
Beal had been shopping the Walnut Hill Lane home since back before Christmas.
Real estate agent Allie Beth Allman whos marketed the one-of-a-kind property since last year along with
David Nichols just closed the sale Friday.
The Hicks mansion also called the Crespi Estate dates to the 1930s. The house was totally rebuilt and
substantially enlarged starting in 2000.
The main house has seven bedrooms plus additional staff bedrooms. The master suite alone is 3,000 square feet.
The almost 28,000-square-foot house was enlarged starting in 2000. (Steve Brown)
Theres a separate two-story guesthouse and an entertainment building with theater, game rooms and other
features. It comes complete with a helipad.
Allman, who recently sold her Dallas company to billionaire Warren Buffett, has sold some of North Texas
most exclusive properties.
But the Hicks estate is her biggest deal ever.
The most expensive sale in Dallas prior to this was closer to $20 million, Allman said. Its my understanding
that is the largest sale ever in Texas for a residential property.
She also originally sold the house to Tom Hicks in 2000.
The sprawling estate is around the block from former president George W. Bushs North Dallas home.
Allman wont talk about the actual sales price or details of the transaction. Based on the median price of homes
sold in North Texas, you could buy 500 houses with what the asking price for the Hicks mansion was.
Beal is one of the richest men in Texas. Hes the founder of Beal Bank, which is headquartered in Plano.
The 62-year-olds interests include everything from aerospace to high-stakes poker.
Beal also looked at the Trammell Crow estate on Preston Road in Highland Park before buying the larger, more
spectacular Hicks property.
Allman said shes still hunting a buyer for the Crow property, most recently on the market for just $46 million.
The Hicks estate is the only estate in Dallas and Preston Hollw that offers a land size of 25 plus acres and
architecture that could not ever be duplicated again, Nichols said. An estate of this magnitude may never be
available again in Dallas.
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Bank mogul Andy Beal puts former Hicks estate on

market for $48.9M
Jan 11, 2017, 7:17am CST
Candace Carlisle Senior Reporter Dallas Business Journal
It's only been a year since bank mogul Andy Beal bought the former Hicks estate in Preston Hollow, which was
widely marketed for $100 million yet it was time to put it on the market.
This time, Beal has priced it at $48.9 million.
The billionaire owner has hired the Realtor that sold him the 25-acre estate in the prestigious Preston Hollow
neighborhood, Allie Beth Allman. She has begun marketing the property, which is also known as the Crespi
estate, after putting it on MLS.
At the time Beal closed on the estate last January, the real estate community said it was the biggest residential
home sale in the Lone Star state. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Allman, who gave the Dallas Business Journal a private tour of the European-style, 27,092-square-foot
mansion and estate, has always thought it was a home that would attract a business executive, such as its former
owner Tom Hicks.
Hicks previously owned the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Stars, and frequently used the estate, which is
dubbed Walnut Place, as a place to entertain players and business colleagues.
And Beal owns Plano-based Beal Bank USA, which recently made a big loan to acquire and help upgrade the
J.C. Penney campus, which sold for $353 million in a sale-partial leaseback deal.
"This house is a work of art," Allman, founder and CEO of Allie Beth Allman& Associates, told me. "This is a
wonderful house for business development."
The other questionable Beal real estate deal purchased at the same time:

Dallas billionaire selling estate fixtures before

demolishing historic Texas house
By Darla Guillen, / Houston Chronicle

Published 12:42 pm, Friday, January 20, 2017

Whats this have to do with Trumps Russiagate?

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How two Dallas young guns helped deliver the White House to Trump
Filed under Politics at Nov 11
Donald Trump won the White House with his son's Texas posse right behind him.
Don Trump Jr. began his fundraising journey after the Republican convention and right here in Dallas, squired
by Tommy Hicks Jr., the eldest son of Dallas billionaire Tom Hicks, and their mutual buddy, Dallas hedge
fund manager Gentry Beach.
After less than three days of schmoozing, the trio raised more than $2 million for Trump's campaign war chest
from high-dollar donors in the Lone Star State.
"That's when it all got serious," Hicks Jr. says.
Agreed, says Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA who ran the Trump campaign's millennial assault.
"Gentry and Tommy really saved this election," says Kirk. "When they came on board, things were in flux. It
was a campaign looking for leadership. Gentry and Tommy delivered that through incredible sacrifice. They put
pieces together that put the Trump campaign on a path to victory."
"These two young wild men have done more in three or four months than politicos who've run their traps for 30
years. They flat went nuts," says Robert Blaha, chairman of the Trump campaign in Colorado. "When Donald
looks out of the window of the White House, he can thank these two guys."
Big game of a different sort
For the last three months, Trump Jr. has crisscrossed the country drumming up money for the presidential
campaign with Hicks and Gentry as his constant wingmen, rainmakers and strategists.
The billionaires' namesakes, both 38, and Beach, 41, became pals 15 years ago as young guns on Wall Street
and in Manhattan.
Trump Jr., an avid outdoorsman and safari hunter, frequently visits Texas to fish, hunt birds and socialize with
his buddies. Beach is the godfather to one of his kids.
But with the campaign, the Trump-Hicks-Beach trio along with a cadre of other rich Dallas guys became
successful big-game hunters of a political sort.
Weve literally worked our tails off seven days a week, 20 hours a day, Beach says.
Gentry and Tommy did not waver, says Kirk, even when the political elites and the media said, Oh theres
no way. Its not going to happen. Every day, Tommy and Gentry kept on pounding for dollars.
There wasnt a time in the last five months when I wavered and didnt believe that he was going to win, says
Beach, who joined forces with the Trumps late last year to prepare for the Iowa caucus.
Why so steadfast?
Ive seen people underestimate Donald Trump as long as Ive known him, says Beach. And Ive seen him
deliver time and time again.
High-rollers roll in
Campaign insiders say the money raised in North Texas by Hicks, Beach, Ray Washburne and Roy Bailey,
managing director of Giuliani Deason Capital Interests LLC, equaled donations from the entire state of
Texas dollars came close to the amount raised in California and New York combined.
Genesco Sports Enterprises CEO John Tatum, a key fundraiser for thee presidential runs of Sen. John McCain
and Mitt Romney, was among those tapped early on.
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Along with Tommys dad, billionaire banker Andy Beal

was already on board.
Donald Trump stumpers Andy Beal, left, and Tommy Hicks Jr.,
head back to Dallas on Wednesday aboard Beal s private jet after
celebrating the upset victory in New York.
Donald Trump stumpers Andy Beal, left, and Tommy Hicks Jr.,
head back to Dallas on Wednesday aboard Beal s private jet after
celebrating the upset victory in New York.
Just a month ago, Beal, who sits on Donald Trumps economic
advisory council, was a closet skeptic.
But as an avid gambler, Dallas richest man kept his poker face on.
Beal spent Monday, the last day of campaigning, with Trump and
Hicks, traveling to Detroit and New Hampshire.
The enthusiasm was palpable. Beal began to believe Hillary Clinton
and the political pundits were in for a shocker.
But until the public speaks, no one really knows, Beal says. We felt we had a real shot at Donald being our
next president.
Election elation
On Election Night, the Dallas contingent turned out in full force at the New York Hilton in Midtown Manhattan
-- hopeful, but still uncertain.
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Billionaire Banker Backs New Big-Money Group

Aiding Trump
by Zachary Mider
September 26, 2016, 11:52 AM PDT September 26, 2016, 12:58 PM PDT

Andy Beal is paying expenses for a new Trump super-PAC

The group disclosed spending more than $1 million last week

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stops at Geno's Steaks in Philadelphia on Sept. 22, 2016.
Andy Beal, a billionaire banker and friend of Donald Trump, is behind a new effort to help the Republican
presidential candidate defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Save America From Its Government, a super-political action committee, was formed earlier this month and
spent about $1 million on advertisements last week, Federal Election Commission records show. According to
Save Americas website, Beal helped set up the group and is paying an undisclosed amount of administrative
and overhead expenses. Its also soliciting outside donations.
At a rally in June, Trump suggested that his friend might serve a role in
a Trump administration, remarking that he could put him in charge of
negotiating with China. Beal was one of the original 13 men named in
August as members of the Trump economic advisory team, although
more names were later added to the list.
Most of the super-PACs spending so far has been on newspaper
advertising, according to its reports to the FEC. A full-page newspaper
ad shown on its website attacks President Barack Obamas health-care
law, questions Clintons honesty and warns about creeping government
expansion. "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!" it concludes. "Vote Trump."
Andy Beal
Photographer: Matthew Mahon/Redu
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QuickTake U.S. Campaign Finance

A representative for Beal didnt immediately respond to inquiries about his role at Save America today. Last
week, he discussed his support for Trump in an interview with Bloomberg, saying "Washington just needs
something different to shake it up. Donald is the only one who will get it done."

In a written statement issued last week, a spokesman for Beal added that "American trade policies are shifting
jobs overseas, decreasing the U.S. standard of living, and increasing the standard of living for many foreign
countries. Mr. Beal believes that current U.S. government is the problem, and that more of the same simply
perpetuates the problems."
Beal owes his fortune, estimated by Bloomberg at about $8 billion, to financial holdings including Dallas-based
Beal Bank. He tangled with Trump in 2009 when he tried to wrest control of a bankrupt Trump company that
owned property in Atlantic City, New Jersey. "There are no hard feelings," Beal told the Wall Street Journal
earlier this year.
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Commercial Real Estate

Icahn Leaps Into Trump Casino Battle

The Billionaire Investor Purchased a Majority of Beal Bank's First-Mortgage Liens on the Properties
By Peter Grant
Updated Dec. 14, 2009 12:01 a.m. ET
The battle over Donald Trump's Atlantic City casinos intensified as billionaire investor Carl Icahn entered the
fray by joining forces with Texas banker Andrew Beal against Mr. Trump and a group of note holders.
Janet Novack, Forbes Staff
I write from D.C. about tax and retirement policy and planning.

8/21/2009 @ 10:50AM

Billionaire Loses Big Tax Case

A federal judge this week shot down Texas billionaire banker D. Andrew Beals attempt to claim $1.1 billion in
tax losses from a $19 million investment in distressed Chinese debt, saying one of his tax moves lacked
economic substance. But the judge also rejected the Internal Revenue Services attempt to impose stiff
penalties on him, finding that he had taken his tax position in good faith and with reasonable cause.
A Beal spokesman said Beal was not available for comment, but that no decision had yet been made on whether
the decision will be appealed. Earlier this year, Beal, a poker-playing, self-made iconoclast on the list of the 400
richest Americans, told Forbes: I am a good guy made to look like a bad guy for doing what every taxpayer
doesappropriately use the law to minimize my taxes.
Beal owns 100% of Beal Financial Corp. (which owns Beal Bank) and operates it as an S corp.meaning all the
profits and losses from the firm flow to his individual tax return. The government contends Beals actual loss on
the Chinese loans was $10 million. But he claimed $1.1 billion in ordinary losses from the Chinese deal to
offset 90% of the $1.2 billion he personally earned from the bank between 2002 and 2004. Beal has since paid
all the taxes, as well as the 40% penalty the IRS asserted, meaning that if the decision stands, the IRS will owe
him a refund of those penalties.
The 159-page decision, rendered in Dallas by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade after a 15-day non-jury trial, is
significant as the first involving what the IRS calls the distressed asset/debt, or DAD, shelter. As Forbes
reported last year, the little-known shelter was used by at least one other billionaire Broadcom co-founder
Henry T. Nicholas III, who is now awaiting trial on felony drug, conspiracy and securities fraud charges, to
which he has pleaded not guilty. Hes also fighting the IRS. DAD was sold to West Coast high-tech rollers by
Chenery Associates and, a financial advisory firm backed by Netscape co-founder James H. Clark
and venture capitalist John Doerr.
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Beal arguably had a stronger case than many taxpayers who allegedly used DAD. Beal didnt buy a pre-
packaged, marketed tax shelter. Instead, he worked with his long-time accountant, Thomas Montgomery, who
researched and structured the tax ploy.
Moreover, over the years Beal Bank has made big profits buying up distressed loans originated by other U.S.
banks and is doing so again. Beal had also earlier invested in distressed foreign debt, without a tax motive. That
history was used by Beal and Montgomery to argue that theirs was a genuine business deal entered into by
experienced partners seeking a profit, as they had in past deals, Kinkeades decision noted.
But Kinkeade concluded that while the investment in Chinese debt had economic substance, a key step taken to
claim the out-sized tax loss didnt. While he disallowed the tax losses, he found that Beal and Montgomery had
obtained opinions from two sets of independent tax lawyers concluding that there was a greater than 50%
chance that the tax losses Beal claimed would be upheld by the courts if the IRS challenged them. That was key
to Kinkeades ruling that no penalties were warranted in the case.
In 2004, Congress specifically barred partnerships from claiming the tax benefits Beals partnership claimed.
The IRS has been disallowing the pre-2004 DAD ploys on other grounds, including that theyre tax shams
lacking economic substance.
The tax decision comes as one of Beals units, Beal Bank Nevada, stands ready to provide financing for a $100
million bid by another Forbes 400 member, Donald J. Trump, to regain control of Trump Entertainment Resorts
. The firm, which owns three Atlantic City casinos, is in bankruptcy for the third time. The Trump/Beal effort,
which would take the company private, is being opposed by existing shareholders and bondholders who call it a
brazen insider deal and say their stakes would be wiped out. Court filings say that Trump Entertainment
already owes $486 million to Beal Bank. Trump and Beal have been described as close friends.

These two judicial orders are a must read to understand how Andy Beal operates his
business enterprise and what he is really doing (Money Laundering & Tax Evasion)
Note role of Tom Montgomery in both cases
Southgate Master Fund, LLC v. US, 659 F. 3d 466 - Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit 2011 (Trial court decision)
This case involves tax shelters created for D. Andrew Beal by Tom Montgomery, CPA, through the creation of
several on paper companies as vehicles for sham tax shelters including: Southgate Master Fund, LLC;
Eastgate LLC; Montgomery Capital Advisers, LLC; and Martell LLC.

Belmont Investments, LLC et al v. United States of America, Eastern Dist. Of Texas, Sherman Division, Case
4:07-cv-9 consolidates with 4:07-cv-10
Trial Courts finding of fact in Bemont: The Court believes that Coscia was no more than a puppet for
Plaintiffs and rendered no real independent or objective advice. Coscia said what he was paid to say.
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CSG Investments, Inc.

Contact: Jacob Cherner 6000 Legacy Drive
Phone 469-467-5563 th
4 Floor
Fax 469-241-9567 Plano, TX 75024 Phone 469-467-5800

For release 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, December 21, 2007

Beal Bank Nevada Originates a $500,000,000

Secured First Lien Loan to Trump
First-lien credit facility refinances debt for Trump Entertainment
Dallas, TXBeal Bank Nevada (the Bank) announced today the origination of a new $500

million first lien mortgage credit facility to Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. (Trump Entertainment)

(Nasdaq: TRMP). In confirming the transaction, Andy Beal, the founder and President of Beal Bank

Nevada, said, This transaction represents another opportunity to do business with Trump Entertainment

and to work with Donald Trump. We are pleased to be able to provide this financing to the Trump

organization. The transaction effectively refinances all current first-lien debt for Trump Entertainment

properties in Atlantic City, including the Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, and Trump Marina.

Beal Bank Nevada was selected to provide the refinancing for Trump Entertainment due to the

Banks flexibility and certainty of funding. Commenting on the transaction for Trump Entertainment,

Executive Vice President and Treasurer John P. Burke said, It is gratifying to continue working with a

creative financial institution such as Beal Bank Nevada on this new credit facility. Our experience with

Beal has been very positive and it is refreshing to deal with a traditional lender. We look forward to having

them as a stable financial source as the Trump brand grows in Atlantic City and around the world.


About Beal Bank Nevada: Beal Bank Nevada, with headquarters located at 3763 Howard Hughes
Parkway, Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV 89169, is a well-capitalized financial institution, with capital of
approximately $1.5 billion and assets of approximately $1.6 billion as of September 30, 2007. The Bank
provides high rates of interest on certificates of deposit and a wide range of financial services to industries
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Page 2 Beal Bank Nevada Originates a

$500 Million Secured First Lien Loan to Trump

that include real estate, aircraft, power, timber and other durable asset classes. Beal Bank Nevada is a
member of the FDIC.

About CSG Investments, Inc.: CSG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Las Vegas-based Beal Bank
Nevada, was founded in 2000 to provide capital for companies with lending needs that traditional lenders
may not be able to accommodate. CSG currently focuses on transactions of from $10 million to $500
million or more in commercial lending opportunities, including acquisitions, syndicated debt, debtor-in-
possession financing, secured bonds, and exit financing. CSG is active in multiple industries, having made
well-secured loans in the energy, aircraft, transportation, timber, real estate, manufacturing and
communication industries.
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Denise Subramaniam doesnt like to think of herself as homeless. A former software

engineer, she has several chronic illnesses, including one known as multiple chemical sensitivity,
which causes her to react to allergens and chemicals common in interior spaces. So this January,
when LNV Corporation foreclosed on the Portland, Oregon, home shed inhabited for 20 years, she
had no option other than her Jeep.
Every morning, Subramaniam wakes up in the driveway of a friends subdivision. Her possessions
are stored in a small shop. Im not on the street, she said. Im trying to hang in there.
These days, Subramaniam is less concerned with finding a place to live than with filing legal briefs at
the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Shes acting as her own lawyer in a case against LNV, which if successful would transform the way
foreclosures are adjudicated in America. The suit alleges that LNV forged evidence to prove it owned
her loan, and that the summary judgment for foreclosure issued by the lower court violates
constitutional protections regarding due process.
Subramaniam is not the only litigant representing herself in a case against LNV. In fact, there are
three such cases currently before the 9th Circuit, and several others across the country, all filed by
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members of an informal network of homeowners known as the Victims Group. The 15 participants
talk and email constantly and provide research assistance with one anothers foreclosure cases.
Those of us who have survived this process have come together, Subramaniam said. It saves us
time and makes us smarter.
LNVs lawyers and spokespeople for its parent company have dismissed the Victims Group as being
made up of conspiracy theorists. The allegations raised by the borrowers are categorically false,
wrote senior vice president for corporate communications Jim Chambless, and have been disproven
and vetted by the appropriate authorities all over the country. Chambless referred to Victims Group
members as not only not credible but as having been in some instances found to be vexatious
litigants, a legal term meaning that the cases were frivolous or unwarranted.
Courts that have ruled in the cases have not accepted the Victims Groups claims of deception and
fraud, though several cases remain pending. And among the Victims Groups allegations, some
like that the bank surveilled homeowners, bribed judges, and intimidated the claimants own lawyers
are not persuasive.
Other allegations, however, raise questions about the documents the bank has used to prove its
ability to foreclose. Charges of this kind have dogged the mortgage industry for years: In 2012, banks
such as JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo paid billions of dollars in fines when confronted with
evidence of robo-signing and submission of false evidence to courts.
The plaintiffs in the Victims Group cases have focused their energies on a single target: billionaire
financier and noted poker player Andy Beal, who records indicate is the sole board member of LNV
Corporation. In addition to founding Beal Bank, Andy Beal also figures prominently in Donald Trumps
presidential campaign. Beal endorsed Trump in February and in August became part of
Trumps economic policy team. He also formed a Super PAC, called Save America From Its
Government, which has advertised for Trump, spending $2.4 million on Trump ads just in the closing
week of the campaign. In June, Trump floated that, if elected, he would put Beal in charge of China,
to negotiate on behalf of the United States.
Though Hillary Clintons ties to Wall Street often get top billing, Trumps advisers have multiple
connections to the foreclosure crisis. His national finance chairman (and rumored choice for Treasury
Secretary), Steve Mnuchin, ran OneWest Bank, one of the more egregious practitioners of robo-
signing and improper foreclosures, disproportionately in minority communities. Private equity kingpin
Wilbur Ross, co-author of Trumps main economic policy document, owned the notorious American
Home Mortgage Servicing Inc., which multiple state attorneys general have sued for deceptive
practices. Ross later served on the board of Ocwen, which paid billions in fines to the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau for abusive activities.
But among Trumps advisers, only Beal has his very own victims group.
The grievances against Beal, culled from multiple state and federal lawsuits, follow a consistent
pattern. All of the homeowners originated their mortgages with companies other than Beals.
Sometime around the collapse of the housing bubble, Beal acquired the plaintiffs mortgages through
LNV, and assigned the servicing rights to MGC Mortgage, a company incorporated in Texas in 2008.
Members of the Victims Group allege that they never received welcome letters or notices that their
loans had been transferred to MGC. I got a call out of the blue. They said, Youre behind on
payments, said JoAnn Breitling of Dallas, Texas, describing a phone call from MGC in 2008. I said,
Ive been making my payments to Regions Bank. They said, Contact Regions and get the money. I
said, Thats your job!
In August 2014, the banks defense attorneys supplied copies of welcome letters dated June 2008,
but Breitling claims that was the first time shed seen them.
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Breitling is not alone in believing that her payments were misappropriated or never reached their
intended recipients. MGC put Tennessee resident Catherine Gebhardt into default, claiming it never
received any payments; but an exhibit in her case shows a $6,000 cashiers check that she paid to
MGC on October 24, 2008. The check is stamped Received and was paid out of Gebhardts
Tennessee State Bank account. In a response to an inquiry from the office of Gebhardts
congressman, Phil Roe, MGC claims it took over servicing on or around July 1, 2009, despite the
October 2008 payment.
In some cases, the transfer to MGC disrupted homeowners attempts to remedy their loan situations.
Marcia Swift of Batavia, Illinois, tried to refinance her loan in August 2008, but before she could get a
payoff statement from her servicer, the company sold the servicing rights to MGC. I said, Why the
hell would you do that, we have a closing set! said Swift, describing a conversation with a GMAC
representative. He started laughing on the phone, said thats how it is. Like our lives didnt matter.
These confusions in payments have often led to foreclosures. Subramaniam has alleged in court
filings that the Beal victims were often seniors, disabled, minorities, and single females, and many of
them had considerable equity in their homes. That would make their properties lucrative targets for
the foreclosing entity, if it could re-sell them at or near market value.
Numerous Beal subsidiaries were involved in the foreclosures, including LPP Mortgage, CLMG
Corporation, Property Acceptance Corporation, Loan Acceptance Corporation, and LNV Corporation.
In a 2014 deposition, MGC employee Bret Maloney confirmed that MGC, Beal Bank, LPP, CLMG,
Property Acceptance, Loan Acceptance, and LNV are all affiliated companies under the same
corporate umbrella known as Beal Financial Corporation. All of these companies used one of two
corporate addresses in Dallas, which actually refer to the same building.
Most homeowners do not contest foreclosures, but this small network of victims did,
challenging multiple instances of what they allege to be forged evidence in their cases.
The mortgage instruments that LNV submitted to the State court to support their foreclosure
complaint are intentionally manufactured forgeries, claims JoAnn Breitling in a 2016 U.S. district
court filing, made with intent to deceive the courts about LNVs standing to bring such an action
against Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs property. (That case was dismissed in October; Breitling has a
pending federal appeal with the 5th Circuit.)
In Denise Subramaniams case, she took issue with the original promissory notes, which are traded
between companies with endorsements, the way individuals endorse a check. Generally speaking,
holders of the notes have the legal right to foreclose on a defaulted borrower. The simple truth is that
we are the legal owners of the notes in question, said Jim Chambless of Beals organization. The
original notes with fresh ink signatures have been locked in our vaults since acquisition.
But Subramaniam submitted several allonges, pages attached to the original promissory notes,
endorsed with the signature of Jason Vecchio, listed as a post funding manager for Residential
Funding Company LLC. The allonges came from three different cases filed by members of the
Victims Group in different states. But the Vecchio signatures align perfectly with one another,
suggesting that they were created with a stamp. All three allonges were purportedly endorsed before
2010. But Vecchios official name prior to 2010 was Jason Vecchio-Smith, as confirmed by notarized
documents showing the name change.
Attempts to reach Vecchio for comment were unsuccessful. Beal representative Jim Chambless told
The Intercept that the banks note endorsements were proper, and LNV asserted in a filing in
Subramanians case that it became the rightful holder of the note after Residential Funding Company
assigned it to LNV.
Multiple signatures on what purport to be original documents in the case of Robert Youngblood of
Tennessee and Marcia Swift of Illinois feature an identical floating j along the side of the signature
line, which the Victims Group claims may be evidence of digital alteration, allegedly showing that the
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documents were cobbled together in Photoshop. Asked about the floating j marks in his 2014
deposition, MCG employee Bret Maloney replied that he didnt know what they were and had never
seen such marks on other mortgage documents.

Allonge Signature of Jason J. Vecchio Compared to the Signature(s) of Jason J. Vecchio on the
Allonges of 3 Separate Parties.
Subramaniam court filing, LNV Corp v. Subramaniam, 9th Circuit
If these pieces of evidence were altered or fabricated, they would comprise insufficient proof of
standing to foreclose. In any court proceeding, companies must prove ownership of loans in order to
enforce the lien.
Beals attorneys categorically deny the many charges the Victims Group has lobbed against them.
In LNVs response to Denise Subramaniams 9th Circuit appeal, for example, the company accuses
her of pursuing a conjured conspiracy woven entirely of whole cloth relying upon imagined forged
documents and cloak-and-dagger intrigue.
Chambless, the Beal representative, said that in Subramaniams and the other cases, LNV
Corporation has every right under the terms of the notes, mortgages, and the laws of each
jurisdiction to foreclose The allegations of the Borrowers you have identified are not borne out by
the facts. He alleged that the members of the Victims Group had failed to pay their mortgages,
property taxes, or insurance, and that they had instead devoted their energies to slandering Beal and
its founder with savage and outlandish personal attacks utterly divorced from the truth.
Chambless also notes that the district court rejected Subramaniams claims in November 2015. Ms.
Subramaniam has sued us three times. She has lost every time, Chambless said. Beals lawyers
threatened to sue The Intercept if any of what they deemed false allegations were published.
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The Victims Group believes many judges have neglected to consider the facts. The land records are
filled with fabricated documents, and no one cares, said JoAnn Breitling. She has even filed motions
in her cases to disqualify judges in the Dallas courts for what she claims are connections with Beal
and the law firm that represents his companies, Locke Lord. None of those efforts have been
Breitling has been in and out of court for six years on the home she shares with her husband and her
adult son, who has Down syndrome and an auto-immune disorder. Breitling estimates that Beals
companies have spent far more than what her house is worth to take it away from her family.
LNV won a foreclosure judgment against Breitling in state court and has responded to every
subsequent claim by arguing that the matter has already been litigated. Breitling lost her appeal to the
Texas Supreme Court on October 14, and on October 4, U.S. District Court Judge Jane Boyle called
the homeowners accusations legally and factually unfounded. Breitling is now appealing that
federal ruling. Chambless calls Breitlings intimations that Beal intimidated judges and lawyers very
serious false allegations.
The Victims Group has set up an information-sharing network to help its members identify document
irregularities. The members found one another while researching other Beal-related cases online, and
most of them have never met in person. Weve become like family, said Breitling. I met Cathy
[Gebhardt], and we couldnt stop crying and hugging.
Most of the victims started out with attorneys, but the years of effort and thousands of dollars in legal
costs drained their resources, forcing them to act in their own defense. Outgunned financially (Forbes
puts Beals net worth at $8.9 billion) and legally, the groups members havent seen many successes,
but most remain in their homes.
Stuart Hamm of Dallas recently stopped the foreclosure sale on his home. In Marcia Swifts case,
LNV voluntarily withdrew right as the judge was about to issue a ruling on the notice of default. The
company re-filed the case in June. It just doesnt stop, Swift said.
Subramaniam was evicted in February after a 10-year battle. She alleges that LNV completed the
foreclosure on her home in county court without serving her papers. The Oregon Court of Appeals
dismissed an appeal based on this allegation on November 2. She says that contractors packed her
belongings and moved them into storage. I had family heirlooms destroyed, a painting of my mother,
they threw it in a box with sharp pieces of wood.
Having lost in state court, Subramaniam took her concerns to a federal venue. Her case before the
9th Circuit takes a big swing, challenging the constitutionality of summary judgment orders in
foreclosure cases. In summary judgments, judges find for one party without requiring a full trial. When
a bank moves for summary judgment, it is asserting that none of the facts in the case are disputable.
Subramaniam believes this technique short-circuits due process for homeowners, particularly those
who act in their own defense as pro se litigants, as they cannot subsequently mount a defense by
presenting evidence.
These summary judgment rules allow judges to abuse judicial discretion; and to ignore their
constitutionally mandated oaths of office, writes Subramaniam in her court filing, which quotes
several law professors and judges who agree with her that summary judgments are used too
frequently. JoAnn Breitlings federal case, before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, makes a similar
If banks could not receive summary judgment in foreclosure cases, the process would become far
more costly, and homeowners would have a greater chance not only to challenge foreclosure, but
also to negotiate workable solutions to avoid eviction.
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Subramaniam filed her case this summer and has been awaiting response from the 9th Circuit. Two
other members of the Victims Group, Kelly Randle and Robynne Fauley, also have pending cases
that the appeals court has not acted upon.
Members of the Victims Group want to save their homes, but they have another objective as well:
obtaining a measure of justice against a system that they believe has failed to protect them. That
explains their perseverance against very long odds. I dont know what keeps me going, said Marcia
Swift. Its very draining. There are days when you cant get out of bed. But something keeps telling
me God put us in this place to do something with this.

This story was produced with support from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a nonprofit devoted to
journalism about inequality.

Update: November 7, 2016

On Monday, JoAnn Breitling filed a motion for rehearing at the Texas Supreme Court.

Correction: November 7, 2016

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Save America From Its Government spent $2.4 billion on
Trump advertisements in the final week of the campaign; this story has been updated to reflect that the correct
number is $2.4 million.

Contact the author:

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Molly's Game: The Most-Awaited Tell-All in Poker History?

20 May 2014 By

For the past few years much of the high-stakes poker talk has revolved around Macau, Tom Dwan
and the notorious Asian businessmen.

But if there's a recent story most suitable for a Hollywood movie - in fact, parts of it even took place in
Hollywood itself - it's the ultra-high cash games of Hollywood actors, Texan billionaires and New York
mobsters currently making its way from multi-million-dollar pots in LA to the courtrooms of New York.
It's the ultimate melting pot of poker pros, shadowy mobsters and celebrities headed by A-List actors
Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Macauley Culkin.
High-profile personalties like poker playboy Dan Bilzerian, director Nick Cassavetes and TV host Gabe
Kaplan joined in, as did rich and dubious business guys like Vadim and Ilya Trincher, Bradley Ruderman,
the art-dealing Nahmad dynasty from Syria and organized crime big-wigs like Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov.
And, there's A-Rod. And the pretty woman that brought them all together. PokerListings Germany's Dirk
Oetzmann digs through the cast list to tell us more about poker's most anticipated tell-all.
By Dirk Oetzmann
The story of "poker princess" Molly Bloom begins in Loveland, Colorado.
Bloom was born the daughter of a clinical psychologist and a skiing instructor. Her two younger brothers
took to sports early and became quite successful. In fact one of them, Jeremy, won two Olympic gold
medals and three world championships in skiing.
He later went on to assume a professional football players career,
worked as a model, started a successful business and founded a charity
organization called The Jeremy Bloom Wish of a Lifetime Foundation
that fulfills lifelong wishes of elderly people.
In the face of so much goodness, youd expect some form of black sheep
in the family.
Molly Bloom got "in trouble" with the law occasionally in her late teens
and 20s although nothing serious as her offenses mainly circled around
speeding and making unreasonable noise at her University dormitory.
She first came in contact with high-stakes poker after she moved to Los
Angeles in 2003 when she was working as the assistant to a real-estate
manager who happened to run private games.

Molly Bloom
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It didnt take her very long to realize that this was a way to make plenty of money so she started running
her own games, which were an instant success.
Even the players that used to be at her boss's table moved over to hers, and by the second half of the
2000s Molly Blooms game was the most popular in California -- and maybe also one of the best-kept
She was entrepreneurial and a very smart girl," says Ronald Richards, attorney in Beverly Hills who later
represented Bloom in court.
Spiderman, Daredevil and The game started out in the Los Angeles at the home of Tobey Maguire and
Jason Bourne the players were A-List to say the least.
Leonardo DiCaprio made appearances at the tables, Ben Affleck and Matt
Damon joined, and Home Alone icon Macaulay Culkin dropped in now and
again, too.
Affleck was quite a good player at the time as in 2004 he won the California
State Poker Championship and $350k. Damon showed up regularly at large
tournaments like the WSOP, although he was never as good a player as an
Undisputedly, though, the best player of the group was Maguire himself.
Someone who had to learn the hard way of how bad a streak can get was TV
producer Houston Curtis, one of the game's founders.
According to his own reports Curtis lost a million dollars in one night.
Maguire gave him a little financial help some sources cite $300,000 - and
Curtis spent months afterwards trying to pay the money back by winning at
other games.
Basically they had an agreement that Curtis would give half of the money he
won to Maguire, but if he lost it was Curtis own problem.
Undisputedly the game's best
player. A little while later, Curtis suffered a heart attack despite being only in his
40s. He claimed it had nothing to do with his debts to Maguire, but the
Spiderman still abated the rest of Curtis debts.
The Billionaires
There were players in this game, however, who wouldnt lose a minute of sleep over $300,000. They are
the likes of Alec Gores and Andy Beal.
Israel-born Gores owns about 80 different companies and his net worth is estimated at $2bn. On the
Forbes list of the wealthiest people in America, he's #273.
Several times Gores and Maguire were invited to
board a private plane and fly down to Texas for a
visit and a poker game with Andrew Andy Beal.
While Alec Gores is a bigger name in business than
the poker world Beal is a legend in both.
The selfmade billionaire from Dallas, Texas, has
made fortunes buying distressed assets. His personal
assets are estimated at $9.8bn.

Beal: Legend in both domains.

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Forbes lists him as the 42nd-richest American and says: He keeps getting richer thanks to the rising
value of banks and fat piles of cash dividends he pays himself every quarter.
Beal is even a big name in the world of science, as he postulated a Mathematic theorem called Beals
conjecture that is still one of the unsolved mathematical problems of our time.
By the way, if you can solve it he will pay you one million dollars. Seriously.
The Banker
Beal made an everlasting impression in the poker world when he challenged a group of top poker pros in
Las Vegas for a series of heads-up matches in Limit Holdem in the 1980s.
The group included players like Phil Ivey, Chip Reese, Barry Greenstein, Gus Hansen, Ted Forrest, Jen
Harman, Doyle Brunson and Lyle Berman.
Aware that he didnt have the quality to beat all these professionals Beal developed his own strategy: He
tried to raise the stakes so high it would take them out of their comfort zone.
Sometimes this would actually work and there was more than $10m on the table, but in the end the pros
came through. If you want to know the whole gripping tale, read Michael Craigs amazing The Banker,
the Professor, and the Suicide King.
There have been rumors that Andy Beal lost over $50m over the years in Blooms and Maguires cash
games, but his spokesmen insist that this is far from the truth.
Nobody denies, though, that he and Gores were participating and that Beal lost. Beyond that, Mr Beal
has no further comment," says Beals spokesman.
A lot of people wanted to be part of that game, but you could only get in
on personal invitation.
Cassavetes, Salomon and Ruderman in the Mix
Nick Cassavetes, the director of several drama and comedy movies and
participant at GSNs High Stakes Poker came in, as did its commentator
Gabe Kaplan, poker playboy Dan Bilzerian, record label owner Cody
Leibel, Las Vegas entrepreneur Andrew Sasson and Rick Salomon,
whose main claim to fame is an infamous sex tape with Paris Hilton.
Lesser known, but more important regarding the downfall of the game,
was Brad Ruderman. The CEO of Ruderman Capital Partners lost about
$25m in Mollys game and then started a Ponzi scheme to pay the money
The FBI would eventually uncover his wrongdoings, but that was still in
the future.
By 2009 the games were moving around in Beverly Hills. They were
hosted at the Four Seasons, the Viper Room on Sunset Boulevard and the
Rick Salomon Beverly Hills Hotel.

The Mob
Of course, some players took things a little too far. One of the participants, who wants to remain
anonymous, is quoted:
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It was known to a handful of us that one player would keep two hookers down the hall of the hotel in
another room He would disappear for 30 minutes at a time, leaving the main players in the game
With the game being so successful in California Bloom eventually decided to take it to the East Coast,
which turned out to be a mistake.
It's also true that by now several well-known poker pros had entered the circle. Kenny Tran, for example,
and Justin Smith.
But, among the new players who joined the game or, lets say, who were involved with several high-
stakes cash games in the Big Apple as well as other gambling "ventures" - were Helly Nahmad, the
Trinchers and Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov.
Helly Nahmad is in his early thirties. He is the son of one of the richest
families on earth, the Nahmad dynasty from Syria. Vadim Trincher won the
Foxwoods Poker Classic 2009, but his actual profession remains in the dark.
Nobody knows what Vadims business actually is, because Vadim doesnt
talk to anybody," the New York Observer quoted a source close to Eugene
and Ilya Trincher," Vadims sons.
Ilya, by the way, also lived in one of the most expensive houses in Los
Angeles. Both the Nahmad and the Trincher family owned apartments in the
Trump Tower. Nahmad also used to run the New York branch of the Helly
Nahmad Art Gallery on Madison Avenue.
Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov has made it on Forbes list of the top ten most
wanted fugitives worldwide. Among other charges he is supposed to have
rigged some results of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
In the indictment later issued by the FBI all three of them were accused of
laundering money through online gambling websites, supposedly more than
$100m. The FBI in its indictments used the term the Nahmad-Trincher
Vadim Trincher organization."

It's certain that the Hollywood actors mentioned above as well as Molly Bloom did come to New York,
and that Andy Beal showed up there, too.
Although there is no definite proof we can pretty safely assume that they all sat together at the poker table
at one time.
The End, the Fallout and the Book
Things were going downhill, though. The stakes were lower than in the original game and playing became
increasingly dangerous because the FBI was investigating many of the participants.
After the FBI had found enough evidence they raided numerous places in New York and arrested dozens
of players and organizers.
At the end of the day 34 people were arrested, among them many of the names mentioned in this article.
Not that everybody was convicted or deserved to, although almost everyone pleaded guilty. Maguire for
example was sentenced to pay a six-digit figure, which was basically the money he had won from Bradley
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As Ruderman had illegally acquired the money he lost the court ruled that
Maguire couldnt keep his winnings.
Helly Nahmad was sentenced to one year and one day in prison. His
generous offer to teach art to homeless people instead was not appreciated by
the judge. Nahmad also had to pay $6.4m.
Ilya Trincher, for now the last defendant to be sentenced, had to pay the
same sum and received six months on probation while his brother is still
waiting for his verdict. Vadim was sentenced to five months in prison.
Ruderman, the man who started the Ponzi scheme, is serving a 10-year
sentence. Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov is still at large.
And Bloom? Just like the Hollywood celebrities she was able to avoid jail
time and was released on probation.
Shes been lying low for a while but last year HarperCollins announced the
upcoming release of the book Mollys Game, an insiders story of excess
and danger, glamour and greed.
Most anticipated book in Bloom has done what many Americans do when they're subsumed a scandal:
poker history? name names in a book. It's currently scheduled to be released next month and
in it will be a lot more names than the ones we have come across here.
Bryan Zuriff, for example, Hollywood producer of the Showtime series Ray Donovan and recently
sentenced to two years probation. And Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of Dreamworks Animation studios.
Since Michael Craigs modern classic this could be the most awaited book in the poker business.
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