Prosecutors say ex-executive stole money for poker tourneys

Finance and Business

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former executive at a Los Angeles digital marketing company has been arrested on suspicion of embezzling more than $20 million from his employer and using it for personal expenses including buy-ins at professional poker tournaments.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says an indictment unsealed Thursday charges Dennis Blieden with wire fraud and identity theft. He was arrested Wednesday in Las Vegas. It wasn’t immediately known if the 29-year-old has an attorney.

Blieden was a vice president of accounting and finance for StyleHaul, a company that represents “influencers” on YouTube and Instagram.

Prosecutors say he controlled the firm’s finances and transferred money to his personal bank accounts, using it to pay off credit card debts and make investments in crypto-currency. He paid more than $150,000 to enter two poker tournaments.

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