Saturday April 13, 2013 : JAILED U.S. PAYMENT PROCESSOR IN THE NEWS AGAIN (Update)
Now Elie intends suing his lawyer
Chad Elie, one of the US online gambling payment processors who was jailed following federal enforcement actions on Black Friday was in the news again Friday following his filing of litigation in a Nevada court against his former legal representative, well-known US lawyer Jeff Ifrah.
The publication Forbes reports that Elie is alleging professional malpractice on the part of Ifrah, claiming the lawyer misled him about the legalities of processing poker because he wanted to continue pocketing rich commissions.
Elie pleaded guilty last year to charges of conspiring to commit bank fraud and operating an illegal gambling business, and claims that he paid Ifrah $4 million, including $1 million in commission payments from his payments processing company.
At one point, Elie claims, Ifrah was receiving $100,000 per month from the 21 Debit firm as a commission on procuring deals with banks that processed poker transactions.
Elie claims that Ifrah hid critical documentation and gave him “wrong advice" regarding poker processing so that the lawyer could continue to make money from Elie's company, Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars.
Approached by Forbes, the normally voluble Ifrah declined to comment on the lawsuit because he had not yet had an opportunity to study the complaint.
Elie's 20-page filing claims that Ifrah provided testimony and information against Elie and others to federal prosecutors in order to avoid being indicted himself.
And, the filing alleges, Ifrah failed to disclose to government lawyers that he was receiving commission payments for assisting Elie in getting poker payment processing accounts with Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars.
Forbes recalls that Elie was one of 11 individuals who were indicted in April 2011 as part of the ‘Black Friday' crackdown on online poker where the federal government shut down the U.S. facing web sites of PokerStars, Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker.
Elie originally hired Ifrah in 2009, and he claims that the lawyer was at the time also working for Pokerstars, Full Tilt and a bank in Utah known as Sun First Bank. Elie wanted to obtain information regarding the legalities of processing financial transactions related to online poker, he says.
It is alleged that Ifrah encouraged Elie to process transactions for the poker companies through banks he introduced to Elie, and that Ifrah received financial benefits from Elie, Pokerstars and Full Tilt as a consequence.
In his filing, Elie alleges that in 2010 Ifrah failed to pass on to him credible information that third party processing payments for poker companies was illegal.
Elie is currently in a Californian jail serving a five month prison sentence for his processing activities, and is due for release in June this year.