Securities fraudster knows when to hold ‘em — he hopes

Poker pro and former stockbroker Samuel McMaster Jr. pleaded guilty to 26 counts of securities fraud earlier this month in exchange for a chance to win his freedom, literally. A prosecutor in Arizona agreed that if McMaster could win enough money playing poker to pay back his victims, they won’t press for prison time. “McMaster has to make restitution payments of $7,500 a month for the next six months while he throws card in tournaments. If he’s not able to prove he’s got the poker skills he needs to make $440K, he’ll be back before the judge and off to jail he goes,” Kashmir Hill, at Above the Law, says. Prosecutors say McMaster sold half a million dollars in worthless promissory notes to unsuspecting investors, some who lost their life savings in the scam.

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