John M. Kendall, the former CEO of poker chip company Chipco, could be spending time behind bars after being found guilty of tax evasion in the state of Maine.
John M. Kendall, the former president and owner of poker chip company Chipco, is in a spot of bother.
The 66-year old has been found guilty, by a jury, in the Pine Tree State, on three felony counts of theft by misapplication of withholding taxes, one felony charge of conspiracy to commit tax evasion, and five more misdemeanor charges related to less than legal methods of handling money that should’ve been handed to the tax man.
Kendall, of Yarmouth in Maine, was found guilty after a trial that lasted for six days. He could face a decade behind bars and be forced to repay the money that he stole from the state.
The scam, which took place between 2007 and 2012, involved siphoning company tax funds from the business, into Kendall’s own private matters. The court heard how the former founder of Chipco used the money to pay for business and personal expenses, including those all-important visits to the country club.
It’s believed that he involved his employee’s in the scam that saw them apply for unemployment benefits, whilst Kendall continued to pay them ‘off the books.’ This then enabled a cut to be diverted to the Kendall slush fund. Six of Kendall’s employees pleaded guilty to theft of unemployment benefits and income tax evasion. The state recovered $110,000 of the $165,000 it’s believed Kendall benefited from during his scam.
In 2013, Chipco was closed down. All of its assets passed onto a new corporation called Game On Chip (GOC). It’s unknown whether the fraud case, and the closure of the company are related.
The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa turned to GOC after the Christian Lusardi scandal in January 2014. You may remember that Lusardi brought the $2m guaranteed 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open opener to its knees after injecting hundreds of thousands of counterfeit chips into the event.
Lusardi was later arrested after a plumbing team was called to Harrah’s Hotel in Atlantic City to fix a blocked pipe. Instead of finding feces created by chip consumption, they just found chips. Over two million of them. Apparently, Lusardi didn’t realize they weren’t biodegradable in his attempt to literally flush away the evidence.
Lusardi will be sentenced at the end of the month; Kendall will realize his fate sometime in April/May.