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Feds Dealt Huge Setback in Phua Case

US prosecutors in Nevada were dealt a huge setback in their case against poker player Paul Phua as a judge ruled that evidence cannot be used in a late charge that the government filed after they were dealt a paralyzing setback last month.

Phua, his son, and various other associates are charged with processing illegal sports bets through their Las Vegas suite at Caesars Palace last year. In order to gain evidence in the case, federal investigators caused Phua's internet connection to drop out and then posed as cable repairmen to gain access to the suite and bug Phua's room and equipment.

Because of that Judge Magistrate Peggy Leen ruled that the evidence gathered using that method cannot be used, as the methods used to gather it was illegal. Feeling that it was being dealt a huge setback, federal prosecutors issued a follow up charge of conspiracy on Phua, but this week a different judge said that the evidence was once again inadmissible, saying that evidence gathered in the rooms of Phua's associates was tainted.

The judge overseeing the case has given prosecutors until the end of the week to decide whether or not to drop charges agains Phua.