Chad Elie, from Las Vegas, is one of two men headed for trial in the Black Friday case. He was originally charged with bank fraud and illegal gambling when the big three online poker sites went down for processing hundreds of millions of dollars in online gambling transactions. Elie was scheduled to go on trial April 9th, along with John Campos, also indicted on April 15th, 2011. However, Elie has entered into a plea deal with the US District Court in Manhattan. Campos maintains his innocence.
Elie, 32, will plead guilty to operating an illegal online gambling business and conspiracy to commit bank fraud and decrease his 75-year sentence to an expected mere six months with a $500K forfeit over two months, as well as $25 million that is being held in transaction processing accounts around the world. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 3rd of this year.
Of the many individuals indicted last April, Elie and Campos were the only two who had trials scheduled, as the others have either plead out or are still at large.
Since the Black Friday crackdown on US-friendly online poker sites by the FBI, prosecutors have sought $3 billion in penalties and forfeiture for money laundering from Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker.
Elie’s plea includes an admission of guilt that he served as a payment processor for all three of the online poker sites mentioned above between 2008 and 2011. He also claims that along with others, created false companies and websites in order to disguise the payments made to the poker sites. He also admitted to deceiving one bank into processing Internet gambling funds by suggesting that the transactions were not related to gambling at all. He said, “I denied the account was being used for online gambling transactions.”