Tuesday March 24,2015 : DECISION ON PHUA ILLEGAL SPORTS BETTING CASE SOON?
Federal judge Andrew Gordon hears arguments on why FBI evidence should be disallowed.
Legal argument in a crucial hearing on the high profile Las Vegas illegal sports betting charges against Asian poker pro Wei Seng "Paul" Phua continued Monday before federal US District Judge Andrew Gordon as Phua's legal representatives sought to have evidence obtained by questionable means disallowed.
Our readers will recall that in the bust last year FBI agents had the internet service to Phua's suite at Caesars Palace shut down, and then posed as concealed camera-equipped repairmen to gain entry and gather evidence that was subsequently used to obtain a full search warrant.
Although seven other defendants have admitted guilt on lesser charges and forfeited large sums of money in order to be allowed to leave the US, the case against Phua as the sole remaining defendant has been paused whilst arguments on the admissibility of the evidence against him are heard.
One Nevada magistrate judge has already found that the evidence should be thrown out as fatally flawed because it deceived the judge issuing the full search warrant, but federal prosecutors have pleaded that such a decision seriously prejudices their case.
Phua lawyers argue that his rights have been seriously violated by the FBI's deceptive conduct
“You do not get to lie to the defendant,” about the underlying purposes of the searches, said defence attorney Thomas Goldstein, addressing the court Monday.
Seemingly on the back foot, federal prosecutors conceded to Judge Gordon that there had been errors in the way the case had been handled, but stressed there had been no official malice, and insisted that Phua's constitutional rights had not been violated.
Judge Gordon's finding is now awaited.