A federal judge has sentenced Chad Elie, who used to process funds for PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker before the US federal government cracked down on these sites, to five months in prison. Elie was one of the several people accused of bank fraud after Black Friday, and he had pleaded guilty to the charge in March.
Chad Elie is not the only one of those indicted post Black Friday to get a prison sentence. Brent Beckley, one of those who had founded Absolute Poker, and Ira Rubin, who also processed funds for the above-mentioned three sites, have also got prison sentences. While Ira Rubin got 3 years in prison, Beckley got 14 months.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan heard his guilty plea in March and then sentenced him to a five-month term in prison. After hearing Elie’s guilty plea, the judge asked him if he was pleading guilty because he was really guilty. Elie replied that he definitely knew that his “conduct was wrong.” If Elie had been proved to be guilty, he would have gotten a much longer sentence, but he got away with a five-month term only because he decided to plead guilty to bank fraud.
Besides giving up his claims to funds worth $25 million seized by the DoJ from his bank accounts, Elie also has a fine of $500,000 slapped on him. After his five-year term in prison, he will have to undergo supervised release for two years.
Chad Elie was one of the 11 people associated with PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker, who were indicted of money laundering, bank fraud, and illegal gambling. The US federal government had stated that Elie “opened bank accounts in the United States, and including through deceptive means, through which each of the poker companies received payments from US-based gamblers.”
US Attorney for New York Southern District Preet Bharara said that Elie had opened US bank accounts for “payday loans” in connection with PokerStars. Besides, he had opened another bank account for funds connected to online membership clubs.
To make matters worse, Chad Elie worked in collaboration with John Campos, who had a part ownership of SunFirst Bank, Utah. As the vice chairman of the bank’s board of directors, Campos had received an investment from Elie in return for which he agreed to process poker funds for Elie. In June, Campos was given a three-year term in prison.