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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

John Campos Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor Charge

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John Campos, Black Friday defendant, will escape a trial set for April 9th in New York due to reaching a plea agreement with federal prosecutors according to Forbes.

Campos was the former vice chairman of Utah's SunFirst Bank. He was indicted on April 15th; charges included: violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), conspiracy to violate the UIGEA, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, and operating illegal gambling businesses in violation of the Internet Gambling Business Act of 1970. According to Forbes, three people that are familiar with the situation report that Campos is pleading guilty to a single misdemeanor charge.

Yesterday Chad Elie (Campos fellow Black Friday defendant) pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Elie's charge is expected to see him face six months to a year in prison. Both Elie and Campos were scheduled for trial on April 9th, but Elie avoided that with his plea bargain. Elie's sentencing is set for October 3rd, 2012.

Just four days after being indicted by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Campos and Elie were arrested on April 19th, 2011. They were charged for their involvement in online poker operations which were deemed illegal. Though each of their attorneys filed motions to dismiss the case with the argument that poker is a game of skill rather than chance and is not subject to the UIGEA regulation, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan did not dismiss any charges. Judge Kaplan stated: “It would be inappropriate [to dismiss any count] for lack of proof at this point in time.”

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