The 42-year old poker chip counterfeiter, Christian Lusardi, who was responsible for introducing fake chips into the Borgata Winter Poker Open Event #1 $500 No-Limit Hold’em last year was set for sentencing on bootlegging charges but the court documents obtained by PokerNews.com have shown that Lusardi's sentencing hearing has now been scheduled for March 30th.
Lusardi was arrested and held at the Atlantic Country Justice Facility with bail set at $300,000 last year. A plea agreement between New Jersey prosecutors and Lusardi was reached but that agreement is sealed. A plea agreement was reached with the state and Lusardi regarding the Borgata counterfeit case. That agreement was to clear the way for Lusardi to face more serious federal charges against him for his role in pirating DVDs.
Back in February 2014, Lusardi was charged with copyright infringement after more than 37,500 pirated DVDs were found in his Fayetteville, N.C. home. After more news of the case came to light, Lusardi had been under survellience by authorities since mid-2012 when he received shipments of counterfeit DVDs from China. It is believed that Lusardi's bootleg DVD operation brought in close to $1 million. Lusardi was forced to surrender his passport as part of the agreements made and can only travel for court-approved trips between New Jersey and North Carolina.
PokerNews.com reported that "Lusardi pled guilty to a two-count Criminal Information, charging him with Copyright Infringement, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sections 2319(b)(1)&(2) and 17 U.S.C. Section 506(a)(1)(A), and Trafficking in Counterfeit Labels, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 2318."
Tuesday, January 6th, was the date set for sentencing but Lusardi's lawyers asked for a postponement to allow time for more research. The next date for sentencing was set for February 18th in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina Western Division but Senior U.S. District Judge James C. Fox approved a Motion to Continue Sentencing Hearing which moved the date to March 30th.
"The Motion Picture Association of America, who represents the victims of Defendant’s criminal activity, has not completed its victim impact statement," the motion states. "The USPO requires the victim impact statement to finalize the U.S. Sentencing Guideline calculations and determine the amount of restitution Defendant owes. A representative of the Motion Picture Association of America has assured the Government that it is expediting the completion of its statement, which it will forward to USPO."
Senior U.S. Probation Officer Mark K. Parker and Lusardi's counsel agreed to the motion along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan B. Menzer, the prosecutor in the case.
In the Borgata counterfeit chip incident, Lusardi managed to single-handedly cause the postponement of the tournament by flushing counterfeit chips down the toilet of the Atlantic City Harrah’s Resort and Casino. Lusardi was arrested for theft by deception, criminal attempt, and rigging a publicly exhibited contest when it was discovered the poker chips clogged the sewer pipes.