Famous poker player Shahram “Shawn” Sheikhan was found guilty on Friday in a US District Court in Southern California and given a four-year term to federal prison. Following his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute marijuana in 2022, he was sentenced. Before entering a guilty plea, Sheikhan’s legal team had asked for a sentence reduction to probation and community service since he faced a maximum term of 40 years and a potential fine of $5 million. On his behalf, a letter of support was sent by prominent members of the business, such as PokerGO President Mori Eskandani.
Career Winnings and Lighter Sentence Hopes
With career winnings of almost $1.5 million, Sheikhan had anticipated a more forgiving probationary period. Cathy Ann Bencivengo, the judge, decided that he would serve the next forty-eight months in federal prison. Sheikhan’s counsel argued for a four-year term, which the judge granted, because a 40-year sentence was an option. Sheikhan also forfeited over $300,000 as part of his punishment; no more fines were levied. After turning himself in to US Marshals on January 1, 2024, he will be released in 2028 and then be subject to three years of supervised release.
Sheikhan had pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana in June of the previous year. His confession detailed how he and a co-defendant intentionally conspired to distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana and other related substances until February 24, 2022. Their actions violated Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(c) and 846.
The illicit marijuana enterprise in question, known only as “Cannaland,” was focused on providing wholesale marijuana and associated goods to unlicensed shops mostly situated in San Diego County. A law enforcement operation targeting the illicit enterprise resulted in the seizure of more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana in Spring Valley on April 7, 2021.
Shawn Sheikhan’s sentence serves as a warning that those who are well-known in the poker community may not always escape the repercussions of their illicit activity.
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