The Nevada Attorney’s General Office has charged Bryan Micon, the former Chairman of the Bitcoin enabled and U.S. facing SealsWithClubs, with operating an unlicensed interactive-gaming system. Court papers that were filed on Monday state that Bryan Micon operated SealsWithClubs, between 1st March 2014 and 9th Feb, 2015 without first procuring and maintaining the required licenses. If he is convicted, he would face up to ten years in prison and $50000 in fines.
Micon allegedly operated the Micon’s SealsWithClubs website, which was shut down in February as a result of a raid on his Las Vegas home that was carried out by agents from the Nevada Gaming Commission. The SealsWithClubs website was launched in 2011, and was one of the first 3 online poker websites to accept Bitcoins. Although Micon has never admitted direct ownership of SealsWithClubs, he has been quite open about his affiliation with the website.
The raid, in which underwear clad Micon was handcuffed and then led outside his home, resulted in the seizure of most of his electronic devices. After the raid, the other investors in the SealsWithClubs website decided to discontinue their involvement with the website.
Micon subsequently left the United States with his 2 year old daughter and wife, and relocated to Barbuda and Antigua where he re-launched the defunct Seals With Clubs operation under a new name, SWCPoker. The SWCPoker website is now one of the top Bitcoin only poker websites, however all such websites are dwarfed by the major international online poker websites.
Bryan Micon is being represented by Chesnoff & Schonfeld, a Las Vegas-based legal firm that has over the years represented many well-known, high profile gamblers. Micon has said that he has started a private defense fund for his case via GoFundMe (an online fundraising platform). Within
the first few hours after its launch, the fund garnered at least one $ 1,000 donation.
That Bryan Micon was allowed by the authorities to freely leave the United States in February, and that no charges have yet been filed against the people who may have also been owners of the SealsWithClubs website, are likely to fuel claims that belated charge(s) and the raid are politically motivated.