United States v. Rubin, No. 12-3777 (2d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Defendant was convicted of conspiracy to violate the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371 and 31 U.S.C. 5363, and other charges. The indictment alleged that three leading internet poker companies doing business in the United States violated section 5363 by deceiving United States banks and financial institutions into processing billions of dollars in payments for illegal gambling activity on their sites. The companies accomplished the alleged deception by hiring third-party payment processors, such as defendant, to disguise payments from United States gamblers as payments to hundreds of purportedly legitimate, but non-existent, online merchants and other non-gambling businesses. The court held that, in light of United States v. Cotton, the question of whether defendant's conduct constituted a conspiracy to violate the UIGEA was a non-jurisdictional challenge to the prosecution; count one of the indictment sufficiently invoked the district court's jurisdiction by alleging that defendant had committed a federal criminal offense at a stated time and place in terms of plainly tracking the language of the relevant statute; defendant's unconditional guilty plea to count one precluded his argument on appeal that he was convicted of a so-called "non-offense" under the UIGEA; and defendant's sentence was neither substantively nor procedurally unreasonable. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.