The man who brought millions of fake poker chips to the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open has been sentenced to five years jail time.
In Atlantic County Superior Court, Judge Bernard DeLury slapped Christian Lusardi with five years in prison and fined $463,540 for bringing millions in bogus poker chips to a tournament held at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.
The payment would cover sales that the casino lost when New Jersey gaming officials ordered the prelim event cancelled, as well as the players who collectively suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses while hundreds of other event entrants received buy-in refunds despite provably having never been exposed to Lusardi or his phony chips.
There’s also approximately $9,000 in damages to the plumbing system of Harrah’s Casino Hotel, where Lusardi flushed 494 fake T5,000 and nine fake T25,000 chips down the toilet, which clogged it and left water dripping from the ceiling below.
Lusardi reached a plea deal with authorities in late March but he officially pleaded guilty on August 13 to charges of second-degree trademark counterfeiting and third-degree criminal mischief.
A press release issued by New Jersey’s Office of the Attorney General does not specify whether Lusardi’s five-year term will run concurrently or consecutively to a separate five-year term which Lusardi is presently serving after pleading guilty in a separate counterfeit-DVD case.
According to the Associated Press, Lusardi purchased the fake chips from “an underground Chinese manufacturer.” The chips were said to be labelled with stickers bearing the ‘Borgata’ tourney design. The Borgata has since begun using more intricate chips with more colors and an authentication element that can be checked under ultraviolet light.