Defendant's In Full Tilt Poker Case Fire Back At U.S. Government

This story was published more than 12 years ago.

Forbes Business Magazine has issued a report that claims a banker and payment processor involved in the Black Friday indictments have filed legal papers that fight the U.S. government's charges.

The report says, "John Campos, a former vice-chairman of a Utah bank that allegedly accepted a cash infusion in return for handling online poker transactions, and Chad Elie, a payment processor who is accused of deceptively facilitating the flow of funds between U.S.-based players and online poker companies, filed separate motions to dismiss all counts filed against them in federal court in Manhattan."

"It is the first direct assault on the April case the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, brought against online poker’s biggest firms, which included the indictment of 11 individuals."

The report also states that the papers filed by the defendants show the obstacles the U.S. is going to have in prosecuting this case.

The report adds quotes the papers as arguing that: “PokerStars and Full Tilt are not ‘illegal gambling businesses’ under the Illegal Gambling Business Act because they are not ‘gambling businesses’ at all. To be ‘engaged in the business of betting or wagering’ requires that the business has a stake in the outcome of gambling contests, and the Indictment here fails to allege that the poker companies had any such stake.”

The legal papers also cite the UIGEA, which has become a lightning rod in the online gambling community, as it fails to discern exactly what illegal online gambling activity is. Furthermore, the papers site the Illegal Gambling Business Act, which lists nine activities that are considered gambling, yet fails to mention poker or any other card game.

Other arguments also are cited throughout the 33 page legal paper, including legal jurisdiction, and whether the money laundering charges in the federal indictments are legitimate. The federal government claims that Elie committed bank and wire fraud because he disguised the finance charges to make it appear as if they were in no way related to online poker.