While PokerStars is busy developing its business outside the United States, Absolute Poker is slowly paying off all its players, and Full Tilt Poker is still drowning in its own losses – the US authorities are sorting out the legal issues that surfaced from the Black Friday incident. The situation spiraled downwards and saw three of the top US poker sites shut down and the online poker payment processors involved arrested and standing trial.
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John Campos is one of the poker payment processors involved in dealing with the financial transactions from these sites and was due to go to trial on April 9th. Campos had chosen to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges and is looking to make an agreement with the court. Surprisingly, the US government authorities appear to be more than willing to settle for this. According to the plea bargain that Campos is going after, he will face 0 to 6 months in prison and will agree not to work in a bank again.
However, in a surprising move, Judge Kaplan who is handling this case, decided to reject Campos’ plea bargain. Campos had been charged with 6 felonies and was the former owner and Vice Chairman of the SunFirst Bank. When issued with the plea bargain, Kaplan asked, “Why should I do that?” The judge also appeared to be very surprised at how easily the US government was giving in.
Kaplan questioned the prosecution, “You’re basically walking away from the prosecution?”
It would appear that the US authorities who closed down the poker sites and seized millions in funds from the banks handling their finances, have suddenly decided not to let those VIPs facing trial go to court and may be planning on settling it with plea bargains.
The Judge also requested the prosecution to hand over a statement in writing as to why they were suddenly not interested in taking the matter of John Campos to court. He asked them to produce an explanation in writing as why Campos who faced 6 felony charges was being allowed to walk way with only a misdemeanor bank gambling charge and not a felony charge.
There have been several online poker processors who have been involved in this US online poker trial, several of whom have been indicted. Many have entered misdemeanor pleas while others are in hiding from the law. The trial of John Campos will set a precedent as to how the whole affair is handled.
Judge Kaplan has set the 27th of June as the date for when he will give a verdict on whether he will accept the plea bargain or not.

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