The Aviation Club de France has long been one of Paris’ most-popular poker rooms. In fact, it served as host to WPT Paris last year. But the Aviation Club was recently the center of a big police raid as 12 people were busted for “clandestine work, breach of trust and money laundering.”
This news comes from Lepoint.fr, which reports that the arrested parties acted as a gang that bribed government officials and used “black market” labor.
Both current and former employees were arrested in the raid, along with Aviation Club President Marcel Francisci (aka “Little Marcel”) and Chairman of the ACF Board Charles Pellegrini. As for the latter, Pellegrini is described as a “large ex-cop” who served as the gang’s boss. He’s said to be the one who appointed members to the gang and made a lot of key decisions.
One of the worst things to come out of this ordeal is that more than 200 Aviation Club of France employees may be out of a job. That’s because the Aviation Club’s future is currently in limbo. With some of the poker room’s top brass now indicted on serious criminal charges, it will be a mess sorting out who can run the place.
The 2013 WPT Paris event that was held here turned out to be a smashing success. 187 players entered the Main Event, which created a $1,823,198 prize pool. Mohsin Charania ended up taking the largest share of the prize pool after winning this tournament along with $449,856. The WPT Paris High Roller managed to attract 21 entrants, with Max Altergott walking away with a $248,279 payout. Unfortunately, we may not see any big tournaments like this again at Aviation Club after the recent raid.