4/20/2012 : BLACK FRIDAY DEFENDANT CAMPOS PLEADS GUILTY (Update)
 
Sentencing set for June 27th
 
Black Friday defendant John Campos was at last able to plead guilty Thursday after a delay which followed senior judge Lewis A. Kaplan's order that prosecutors explain why he had been allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanour.
 
Although originally facing five banking related charges, Campos initially pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of “…causing a bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to process illegal gambling transactions”
 
KCSG reported that in responding to the judge's order US Attorneys Preet Bharara, Arlo Devlin-Brown, and Andrew D. Goldstein, explained that Campos' involvement was “relatively minor” in relation to the other suspects charged in April 15 indictments against online poker sites and payment processors.
 
They pointed out that the sentencing and punishment guidelines for the misdemeanour charge were similar to that of the felony charges Campos faced.
 
Campos is alleged to have conspired with Chad Elie and Jeremy Johnson to use the SunFirst bank as a means of processing transactions between poker players and online poker sites in exchange for a $10 million investment in the bank and a bonus for Campos.
 
Elie has already plead out to lesser charges for his role in the conspiracy.
 
SunFirst Bank processed approximately $200 million in transactions before entering into a consent order with the FDIC to stop.
 
As part of his plea deal Thursday, Campos agreed to a lifetime ban from the banking industry; sentencing will be passed on June 27th.
 
Seven of the 11 individuals named in the Black Friday indictment filed in US District Court of the Southern District of New York a year ago have pleaded guilty to date.
 
Interestingly, an article in Forbes magazine last week suggested that, in accepting guilty pleas from Black Friday defendants, federal prosecutors may have sought to avoid trial proceedings that may have impacted their case against the main target – the online poker operators.