Defendants in World Cup betting ring plead not guilty

LAS VEGAS -- Six defendants accused of running an illegal betting ring pleaded not guilty during their arraignment Thursday in federal court.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach set a trial date for Sept. 29.

The men are accused of being part of a betting scheme set up during the World Cup. Prosecutors say the men ran the betting scheme out of high-roller suites on the Las Vegas Strip.

Two other men accused of being part of the ring, including the alleged organizer, 50-year-old Wei Seng "Paul" Phua, pleaded not guilty in another hearing. Phua and his son, 22-year-old Darren Phua, were released on bail posted by star poker players, including a 10 time winner of the World Series of Poker.

The men are mostly Chinese or Malaysian nationals. Two of the men in court Thursday have already posted bail; however, they have been placed on immigration holds, which means they cannot leave jail, even though bail was paid.


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