In March, a 26-year-old poker player from England won the 2018 Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour Manchester Main Event for £68,930 (around $95,000). However, something he did in the past will take all of his winnings, leaving his pockets completely empty.
Adam Lulat managed to defeat a player field of 241 in the £1,000 + £110 Main Event at the 2018 GUKPT Manchester, scheduled from March 1 to 4 at the Grosvenor Casino.
He went into the final table as the chip leader and continued to dominate, eventually besting fellow Brit player Gary Whitehead in a heads-up showdown to take home the trophy and the cash prize worth £68,930 (approx. $95,000).
This win is a great addition to his career as this is by far his biggest cash ever won in poker (he just had $17,000 in cashes prior to this tournament). However, almost six months later, he would be given notice of a UK court's order - that he must repay all the cash he won to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, the British tax collector, who states that he still owes money to his victims from a crime that he committed back in 2010 and 2011.
A Dark Past comes back to Haunt
In September 2015, Lulat pleaded guilty to money laundering and was slapped a 28-month jail sentence for being involved in laundering £40 million (about $51.2 million). He and his companions were ordered to pay back £590,000 they admittedly stole; however, at the time Lulat possessed no cash or assets worthy to be seized, and so he was ordered to pay only £1, according to BBC.
After learning of his good fortune at the poker tournament, the court ordered that he pay the amount of £71,770 - all of the money he won at the tournament plus £2,840 he had in a bank. Should he fail to repay this amount within 3 months, he faces an extra 15 months behind bars.
HMRC Assistant Director of Fraud Investigations Debbie Porter said, "Lulat thought he'd aced the tournament but we had the better hand in the end. 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."
From September 2010 to November 2011, Lulat was involved with a group that "fabricated businesses to make fraudulent VAT repayment claims against multiple EU member states using a complex web of transactions."
It was found that Lulat made more than £237,000 through this scheme.
The Lancashire Post said that Lulat was jailed for 28 months in September 2015, but his Hendon Mob info showed two live cashes - November and December 2016 - during the time he was supposed to be in jail.