Judge Sends John Campos and Chad Elie to Trial for Online Poker Charges
Refuses to Dismiss Counts After Defense Attorneys Provide Legal Briefing
John Campos and Chad Elie — two men charged as part of April’s sweeping indictments of a handful of offshore poker sites — will face trial in New York after a federal judge refused to dismiss the charges, according to a legal briefing obtained by Card Player.
Attorneys for the defendants levied a number of points to have the case thrown out, which included arguing that the Department of Justice’s flip-flop on its reading of the 1961 Interstate Wire Act rendered moot some of the allegations. Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan asked for extensive briefings from both the prosecution and the defense in light of December’s Wire Act clarification.
Both Elie and Campos are charged with three counts of violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, one count of conspiracy to violate UIGEA, two counts of operating illegal gambling businesses in violation of the Internet Gambling Business Act of 1970, and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
Elie faces one additional count of operating an illegal gambling business in violation of the IGBA, and one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.
Elie, a Las Vegas businessman, is accused of opening bank accounts for Internet poker sites to receive payment from U.S. players, while Campos is alleged to have been an officer, director and part-owner of an Utah bank that processed online poker transactions.
One of the points that will likely come up at trial is the defendants’ argument that poker is not gambling. Kaplan said that this argument has failed “at least at this stage,” and that it isn’t grounds for pretrial dismissal.
Kaplan began his memo filed Tuesday by saying that the “paramount” reasoning for rejecting the motions to dismiss is that “there is no summary judgment in criminal cases.”
He added: “[…] a pretrial motion to dismiss an indictment is not a permissible vehicle for addressing the sufficiency of the government’s evidence.”
Campos and Elie are now off to trial, which is expected to begin this spring.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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