Chad Elie and John Campos Enter Guilty Pleas
By Matt Kaufman, Rakeback.com Poker News Editor
Chad Elie and John Campos were both indicted by the United States on April 15th, 2011 (‘Black Friday’) for their involvement with the use of illegal procedures to process payments from poker sites.
For much of the last year, the two men and their legal teams prepared to fight the charges against them in court. They initially filed for dismissals from the case, but when those requests were rejected they continued down the legal path towards a trial.
Within the last month, they made requests to the court with respect to admissibility of evidence, and they received a court date – April 9th.
After nearly a year of legal battles, Chad Elie pleaded guilty on Monday to a single charge of conspiracy, and John Campos pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a single misdemeanor charge. It is likely that both men will face fines and that Elie will be sentenced to 6-12 months in prison. Campos is unlikely to receive any time in jail.
The basis of their planned defense was that poker rooms are not clearly defined as “illegal gambling businesses” according to United States law, and thus they were innocent of the charges against them. This trial was highly anticipated because it would have been the first time that the legality of online poker would have been a topic of discussion before a United States Judge.
With both men pleading guilty, the trial will not happen and poker players will have to wait for another day to see such arguments made in court. We have a feeling it won’t be too long – 6 men indicted on Black Friday have not yet reached agreements with the government, and the odds are high that at least a few of them will choose to defend themselves.