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Man fails to win restitution by poker, gets prison

A New Mexico man has been sentenced to prison after he asked to repay his investment scam victims through poker tournament winnings, but failed to find luck at the card table.

A New Mexico man has been sentenced to prison after he asked to repay his investment scam victims through poker tournament winnings, but failed to find luck at the card table.

Samuel McMaster Jr. was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years. He pleaded guilty last year to charges of stealing nearly $450,000 from 23 investors.

Prosecutors had agreed to delay the ex-insurance agent's sentencing after he asked to attempt to earn money for restitution. The agreement included broad language that allowed those attempts to include gambling.

A lead prosecutor with the state Securities Division says she is not aware of similar cases, and that prosecutors had been aware of his intentions.

State officials say that as a result of McMaster, they will probably examine the ways in which restitutions are made.

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