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Black Friday Defendants Make First Court Appearance

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) began to test their case against online poker in court today. In a report from Forbes, day one seems to have been smooth-sailing for the government.

A hearing was held to determine whether to grant the motion for dismissal of the indictments made by John Campos and Chad Elie. Campos and Elie, both having acted as payment processors, were two of the eleven men listed in the government’s Black Friday indictments. Their lawyer argued, among other things, that the UIGEA exempts financial transaction providers from criminal liability. Lewis Kaplan, the federal judge presiding over the case, said he did not agree that financial service providers are exempt from the law and added, “this is only the beginning of my problems with your argument.”

The Forbes article states that Judge Kaplan did not fire any tough questions at the U.S. Attorney, Arlo Devlin-Brown, and at one point even him off during an explanation of the UIGEA saying, “the whole point of the statue was to wipe out Internet gambling in the U.S.”

Campos and Elie now face trial set to begin in March. Another payment processor indicted along with Campos and Elie, Ira Rubin, will not be part of the trial. Rubin’s lawyer said that his client has reached an agreement in principal with the government.


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