In March, Adam Lulat won Grosvenor U.K. Poker Tour Manchester for £68,930 (~$95,000), topping a field of 241 for his biggest career cash by miles after having just $17,000 in cashes before that.
While that come-up would have been a fine springboard for Lulat onto bigger things in his poker endeavors or just a big score allowing him to enjoy life a little more, it’s instead all going to the British government. That’s because Lulat was fresh off a jail sentence for a £40 million money laundering scheme in which he served time but only paid back £1 due to a lack of assets, according to The Lancashire Post.
The Post reported Lulat, a native of Preston, was convicted in 2015 as part of a ring of scammers. Six people in the scheme were jailed for a total of 25 years and 10 months. They were also ordered to pay back £590,000 for the crimes, which occurred between September 2010 and November 2011.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs tracked the group and eventually jailed them.
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Poker Under a Watchful Eye
After Lulat, now 26, served his time, he evidently got back into poker, where he had secured some nominal cashes on local circuits like GUKPT and the PokerStars U.K. and Ireland Poker Tour. He binked his big score, but the government must have been paying attention to his activities.
The HMRC tracked him back down and confiscated his winnings as well as a few thousand he had in a personal bank account, seeing as he had never made whole those he’d stolen from in the first place.
“Lulat thought he’d aced the tournament but we had the better hand in the end,” said an HMRC official. “We will not allow tax fraudsters like Lulat to enjoy their winnings until they’ve repaid what they’ve stolen from the taxpayer. HMRC will relentlessly pursue criminals for their ill-gotten gains.”