Bitcoin Poker Site Operator Pleads Guilty To Avoid Jail

Seals with Clubs Bitcoin PokerBryan Micon agreed to plead guilty to operating an unlicensed interactive gaming system to avoid jail time, his lawyer told a Nevada judge Thursday. Should he complete the probation time and pay a $25,000 fine, that charge would be reduced to a gross misdemeanor, according to his attorney Richard Schonfeld, reported The Las Vegas Review Journal. Micon operated a site called Seals with Clubs which accepted bitcoin.

Micon to surrender his bitcoin, computers and more

Micon will have to surrender the computers and 3.0996 bitcoins that gaming authorities seized from his home during a February raid. He will also pay $900 in cash.

Micon fled to Antigua after the February raid. An arrest warrant was issued in April, followed by a press conference where gaming officials flanked Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt.

He will be booked in the Clark County Detention Center, then released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court next week.

Micon operated Seals with Clubs between March 1, 2014 and Feb. 9, 2015 without first procuring and thereafter maintaining the required licenses, according to CCN reports.

The site collapsed in April, leaving an estimated $15 million in player funds unpaid.

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Micon sought crowdfunding support

Following the arrest warrant, he launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to raise $100,000 for his legal defense. He has raised $4,005 from 59 donors, according to that website.

He claimed on the website that he committed no wrongdoing. “I desire nothing more than to continue to be with my wife, raise my daughter, and continue to build layers on top of the Bitcoin protocol,” he stated on the website. “The state of Nevada desires to take that away from me.”

The gaming charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. It marks the first prosecution of a poker site that used the digital currency.