By Matt Kaufman, Rakeback.com Poker News Editor
Yesterday we reported that payment processors Chad Elie and John Campos pleaded guilty to Black Friday charges.
Elie pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy. He'll pay a $500,000 fine and is likely to be sentenced to 6-12 months in prison. Campos pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge, but further details on his sentencing were not known when information on the plea became available.
The reason for that lack of detail, as it turns out, is that US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan wants an explanation. He has requested that the prosecution respond with reasons for why they allowed Campos to get off with a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
It has been widely speculated that the prosecution's actual motive for allowing Campos off light was because they wanted to avoid a trial. Campos' argument that online poker companies are not necessarily illegal gambling businesses as defined by US law is compelling. Basically, it's a fight that prosecutors didn't want to risk losing.
Once the prosecution has submitted their reasons for accepting the guilty plea (the reasons themselves may be very interesting - they can't simply say "we didn't want to lose!"), Judge Kaplan will decide whether or not to accept the plea himself. That decision will take place on June 27th.
Although it's on life support, perhaps we'll get to see a "Poker Trial" after all.
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