Sacramento, California - Orel Gohar, 30, formerly of San Francisco, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez to two and a half years in prison for conducting an illegal gambling business, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and failure to appear, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, Gohar participated in operating an organization that installed and maintained illegal video slot machines at businesses open to the public across Northern California. Gohar also participated in two different conspiracies to launder the proceeds of the lucrative gambling business through co-defendants’ other businesses. In total, Gohar participated in laundering at least $650,000.
Court documents also detail Gohar’s escape from the United States by charter jet through Mexico, France, and Israel. Gohar was first arrested on Dec. 8, 2017, in connection with his initial charges and granted pretrial release. On Jan. 8, 2018, he failed to appear in federal court for a hearing, and he remained a fugitive for nearly two years until his arrest in Israel in December 2019.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice – Bureau of Gambling Control. Assistance was provided by the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and Israeli authorities. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Miriam R. Hinman and Mira Chernick prosecuted the case.
Gohar is the last of eight defendants to be sentenced in connection with the illegal gambling and money laundering schemes. May Levy was sentenced on Aug. 10, 2018, to probation and a $2,000 fine; Atir Dadon was sentenced on June 14, 2019, to one year and 10 months in prison and a $10,000 fine; Bar Shani was sentenced on July 12, 2019, to one year and eight months in prison and a $10,000 fine; Adam Atari was sentenced on Sept. 6, 2019, to two years and seven months in prison; Yaniv Gohar was sentenced on Dec. 20, 2019, to three years and nine months in prison; Raz Razla was sentenced on Oct. 6, 2020, to probation and a $5,500 fine; and Eran Buhbut was sentenced on Jan. 12, 2021, to probation and a $4,000 fine.