Black Friday Defendant's Guilty Plea Hits A Snag

This story was published more than 11 years ago.

The guilty plea of a former bank executive indicted in the Black Friday charges hit a snag after a New York judge demanded to know why the federal government was "walking away from the case".

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan announced that he would not immediately accept the guilty plea of former SunFirst Bank Executive John Campos, demanding that the government report why they would accept a plea that would convict Campos of a misdemeanor instead of a felony. "You're basically walking away from the prosecution?" Kaplan asked.

Judge Kaplan told attorneys for both sides that he has the power to reject any plea deals, and will decide whether or not he will accept the plea at a sentencing hearing on June 27th.

"There would be a risk that a jury on that basis could have a problem." U.S. Assistant Attorney Arlo Devlin-Brown told the judge.

Fellow Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Goldstein made his case that the jail time that Campos faces is the same that the defendant would face if charged with a felony. Campos also cannot hold any future positions with a financial institution.

In his guilty plea John Campos admitted that his Utah Bank processed gambling funds after Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars promised that they would invest $10 million in his bank. Campos said that he does not believe the investment was a payment for processing the gambling funds.

The government charged that fellow Black Friday defendant Chad Elie persuaded Campos to allow his bank to process the poker sites transactions. The two were set to stand trial together on April 9th, although Elie pleaded guilty to his crimes earlier in the week.