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Federal Prosecutors Pursue New Charge Against High-Stakes Poker Player

Paul Phua Now Accused Of 'Conspiracy,' Defense Says It's Bogus


Thanks to key evidence being deemed inadmissible, federal prosecutors are pursuing a new indictment against high-stakes poker player Paul Phua.

Phua, a wealthy Malaysian businessman who has competed at the WSOP, was arrested last year for allegedly running a more than month-long illegal sports betting operation in Las Vegas. He, along with other co-conspirators, allegedly used the Internet in a scheme to process illegal bets on the World Cup.

The defense successfully argued earlier this year that the feds improperly obtained evidence against Phua.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the new charge against Phua is “conspiracy,” which the feds believe will be easier to use in an effort to tie the tainted evidence to him. The defense will try to get the evidence thrown out again.

A June trial date is still scheduled.

“A conspiracy charge is the darling of a prosecutor’s nursery,” defense lawyer David Chesnoff said Wednesday, according to the Review-Journal. “Mr. Phua maintains his innocence. You cannot be guilty of conspiracy if you never agreed to do anything that’s illegal.”

Phua is set to appear in court later this month.

The federal government is seeking to take $13 million in profits from the alleged betting operation that was run out of a villa at Caesars Palace. The casino has assisted the government in its investigation and has never been accused of wrongdoing in the matter.

Tags: Paul Phua,   Nevada