The dominos continue to fall from those indicted in the Black Friday crackdowns as Chad Elie, working as a payment processor for PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker, was sentenced to five months in prison for his involvement in processing millions of dollars in supposedly illegal gambling transactions.
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in a federal court in Manhattan. Judge Kaplan described Elie as someone who had no care in the world regarding the illegalities of what he was doing, hence the need to slap the defendant with a prison sentence. “He was in a sense playing a game with the government, a catch-me-if-you-can kind of game,” Kaplan said today about Elie, as quoted by BusinessWeek.
The judge even went so far as to describe Elie’s actions as a “reckless spitting in the eye of the government and the laws of the United States” when it came to operating online poker sites serving the United States.
“That just can’t be overlooked.”
Earlier this year, Elie pled guilty to conspiracy while also admitting that he worked as a payment processor for the three poker companies, working around the law to continue processing payments and deceiving US banks regarding the kind of financial transactions he was making.
In addition to the five-month prison sentence, Elie was also ordered by Judge Kaplan to serve two years of probation and to forfeit $500,000 that he earned during his time processing payments for PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker.
Elie’s conviction comes a month after another Nelson Burtnick, the former Full Tilt Poker head of payment processing, also pled guilty to conspiracy and gambling charges before a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Burtnick’s sentencing has been set for December 19, where he stands to face as much as 15 years in prison, although by having pled guilty to the crimes, that sentence could be softened significantly.
With Elie’s sentencing, he joins a list of other Black Friday indictees that have all been sentenced in court. Last July, Absolute Poker founder Brent Beckley received a 14-month sentence, while fellow payment processor Ira Rubin got slapped with a three-year sentence a few days after Beckley received his sentencing.