UPDATE (28th April 21:35 BST): This piece has been updated with additional information from the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, as well as a copy of the formal complaint filed against Bryan Micon.
As reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Bryan Micon was charged in Nevada court on Monday with operating an unlicensed interactive gaming system. Micon is accused of failing to acquire the necessary licensure to operate Seals with Clubs.
If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.
Seals with Clubs shut down in February, a move attributed to then-unspecified operational security concerns believed to be connected with a pending crackdown by state regulators. Micon later left the US for Antigua, stating shortly after the closure of Seals with Clubs that his home had been raided by agents from the Nevada Gaming Commission.
In a press statement, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt said that the charges were being brought against Micon in order to protect the state’s gaming industry, noting:
“Operating or otherwise conducting gaming in the state without a license is illegal, and this office will aggressively pursue individuals and companies who seek to circumvent gaming regulations.”
During a press conference, according to the Review-Journal, it was revealed that an agent for the Nevada Gaming Control Board had gone undercover during an investigation into Seals with Clubs.
According to the release, the case is “the first instance of state-level criminal prosecution in Nevada of an illegal Internet poker site using Bitcoin as currency.”
Complaint alleges unlawful operation
According to the complaint, Micon is accused of running an unlicensed gaming platform from March of last year until early February, when Seals with Clubs announced its closure.
The three-page filing states:
“Between about March 1, 2014 , and February 9, 2015, [Bryan Micon] willfully operated, carried on, conducted maintained and/or exposed for play in the State of Nevada an internet gaming poker site under the name Seals with Clubs, without first procuring and thereafter maintaining in effect the required licenses.”
Micon’s attorney Richard Shonfeld did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Shonfeld further declined to offer more details when contacted by the Review-Journal.
“Bryan has always maintained that he committed no wrongdoing, but I’m not in a position to comment on the Attorney General’s filing because I haven’t seen it,” he said.
CoinDesk will continue monitoring this developing story and will provide updates as they become available.
The criminal complaint can be found below:
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