John Campos, the former vice chairman of a bank based in Utah, who stands accused of accepting money to handle poker-related funds, and Chad Elie, an online payment processor who stands accused of processing gambling-related funds, have strongly denied all allegations leveled against them by the US federal government, making this the first attack against the case filed in mid-April this year against 11 people associated with top online poker companies such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. Elie and Campos has filed four strongly-worded legal papers, demanding the dismissal of charges against them.
Elie and Campos have rubbished government allegations that they have violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and the Illegal Gambling Business Act besides denying the money laundering charges. The two have pointed out that PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker charged fees for players to play against one another and not against the house. According to one of the legal papers filed, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars are not illegal gambling businesses; in fact, they are not involved in any gambling business because they never had any stake in the game results.
The lengthy legal papers filed by the two argue that the federal government’s case has no base since poker is a skill-based and not a chance-based game, owing to which playing poker cannot be called gambling. According to these papers, the 9 activities listed in the Illegal Gambling Business Act do not include poker and other card games since poker has nothing in common with lotteries.
According to the legal papers, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars are both offshore companies and not based in New York. Elie also goes as far as to state that the federal government has made improper use of the law in New York to indict the companies of violation of IGBA. He argues that the federal government must drop its charges of money laundering because these charges are based on false illegal gambling allegations.
Regarding the federal governments allegations of bank fraud against him, Elie argues that the government must first prove that the transactions have caused the banks any loss or harm, while actually the banks have profited immensely. He states that his company had invested $3.4 million in Sun First Bank, which was struggling in 2009, and had actually earned over $1.6 million in processing fees along. His investment activities have actually helped the bank earn a profit, he claimed.