02/08/2012 : ONLINE GAMBLING FINANCE MEN LOSE ATTEMPT TO QUASH CHARGES
Campos and Elie fail in attempt to have DoJ Black Friday charges dismissed
Former Utah banker John Campos and e-processor Chad Elie, who face charges relating to the payment processing of online poker transactions, suffered a setback Tuesday when a Manhattan judge refused to allow their motion for dismissal of Black Friday indictments against them.
Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote: “Defendants’ argument that poker is not gambling fails, at least at this stage,” in an eight-page memorandum opinion.
The publication Forbes notes that the ruling should come as no surprise to the two defendants; at a pre-trial hearing in December last year the judge noted that it would be “extraordinarily unlikely that the entire indictment will be dismissed.”
All eight of the government’s charges against the duo remain, with three of six original Black Friday defendants already pleading guilty.
Campos and Elie are set to go on trial next month, nearly one year after American enforcement officials shut down the US operations of PokerStars, Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker, unsealing a criminal indictment of 11 men and a $3 billion lawsuit against the companies and some of their founders and board members.
Judge Kaplan characterised the argument that poker is not gambling as “surprising” and said that Campos and Elie will need to defend at trial the government’s claims that they violated the Illegal Gambling Business Act.
“It would be inappropriate,” Kaplan wrote, “to dismiss any count “for lack of proof at this point in time.”