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Press Release

Oakland Resident Pleads Guilty to Conducting Illegal Gambling Business in Sacramento and Elsewhere

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Eran Buhbut, 34, of Oakland, pleaded guilty today to conducting an illegal gambling business, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, from at least September 2015 through November 2017, Buhbut conducted an illegal gambling business in concert with his co-defendants, as a part of the Gohar organization. In violation of California law, members of the Gohar organization, including Buhbut, installed and maintained video slot machines at businesses open to the public across Northern California. Buhbut and other members of the Gohar organization then split the proceeds from these illegal gambling machines with the owners of the small businesses in which the machines were installed.

According to the plea agreement, evidence seized at Buhbut’s residence included over $28,000 in cash in low dollar amounts consistent with video slot machine collections, 16 motherboards used in such machines, ledgers describing cash “in” and “out” amounts, seven different phones, and a specialized set of security keys consistent with the type of locks found on the Gohar organization’s video slot machines. The gambling business is alleged to have 500 machines across California.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and California Department of Justice – Bureau of Gambling Control. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew M. Yelovich and Miriam R. Hinman are prosecuting the case.

Yaniv Gohar, 36, formerly of Berkeley; and Orel Gohar, 28, formerly of San Francisco, fled the United States upon their release in December 2017. Yaniv Gohar was extradited from Israel and faces additional charges. Orel Gohar remains at large. Anyone with information about his whereabouts should call the Federal Bureau of Investigation at (916) 746-7000. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

May Levy, 28, of Walnut Creek; Atir Dadon, 34, of Sherman Oaks; Bar Shani, 27, of San Francisco; and Adam Atari, 35, of Sherman Oaks, have pleaded guilty. Levy was sentenced to two years’ probation; Dadon was sentenced to 22 months in prison; Shani was sentenced to 20 months in prison, and Atari is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 30.

Raz Razla, 48, of Sherman Oaks, is charged with making false statements to the grand jury. The charge is only an allegation; he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Buhbut is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. on Feb. 28, 2020. Buhbut faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Updated July 26, 2019

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 2:17-cr-232 GEB