Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Online Poker Addict Turned Bank Robber Released From Prison After Almost Two Years

If you have never heard the story of Greg Hogan, Jr, you are missing out on quite the interesting tale. The story of Greg Hogan, Jr demonstrates that many times, reality truly is stranger than fiction.

Back at the beginning of December 2005, Greg Hogan, Jr walked into a Wachovia Bank and handed the teller a note that he had a gun. Although he didn't actually have a gun, the teller followed standard procedures and handed over just under three thousand dollars. Hogan put the money into his backpack and left the bank, and by the end of the night, was arrested for the crime he had committed earlier in the day.

While this story may not seem that unique, it becomes much stranger once you get all of the details. Instead of being a hardened criminal, Greg Hogan, Jr was a nineteen year old college student at Leigh University (located in Bethlehm, PA). Raised as the son of a Baptist Minister, Hogan actually served as the class president at Leigh. However, Hogan was hiding a secret that no one knew about: over the course of 2005, he had lost nearly eight thousand dollars from playing online poker.

On the day that he committed his crime, Hogan was actually on his way to see The Chronicles of Narnia with two of his friends. On the way to the movie, Hogan told his friend that he needed to cash a check, and his friend took him to the Wachovia bank that Hogan robbed. Because neither of his friends had any idea what Hogan was planning to do (or what he had done until he was arrested later that day by the police), neither of them were charged in connection with the case.

After Hogan was sentenced to serve twenty-two months for the crime he committed, his father used the incident as fuel for his own campaign against online gambling (which he took all the way to the Financial Services Committee of Congress). Like most attacks against online poker, the actions of Greg Hogan, Jr's father were not viewed positively by the countless number of individuals who enjoy online poker responsibly.

In addition to the extensive counseling he has received, now that Greg Hogan, Jr has been released from prison, he will not be allowed to place any type of bet or enter a gambling establishment for eight more years (2016).