Chad Elie stands indicted along with ten other individuals in a nine count Superseding Indictment (“Indictment”). The Indictment contains five charges: (1) conspiracy to violate the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (“UIGEA”) under 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Count One); (2) violation of UIGEA, under 31 U.S.C. § 5363 and 18 U.S.C. § 2 (Counts Two-Four); (3) operation of an illegal gambling business under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1955 and 2 (Counts Five-Seven); (4) conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1349 (Count Eight); and (5)money laundering conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) (Count Nine). The charges relate to Internet poker and involve the operations of three different online poker companies: PokerStars, Full Tilt, and Absolute Poker. Each of these companies maintained a website through which poker players could play against each other at virtual poker tables. The poker games hosted by these companies were not house-banked games in which players competed against a casino or bookmaker. Rather, the poker games at issue were peer-to-peer games. The poker companies did not participate in the games, and had no risk or stake in the outcome of the games. Instead, the companies provided virtual facilities for the games, and collected, in exchange, a fee, called the “rake.” Ind. ¶ 3. Although all of the poker companies were based outside of the United States, and, in fact, had no corporate presence in the United States at all times relevant to the Indictment, the government alleges that their Internet operations violated federal gambling laws because the sites permitted United States customers to participate in real-money poker games over the Internet. Ind. ¶¶ 4-6, 15. The eleven defendants charged in the case fall into four categories: individuals employed with/operating Internet poker sites (Scheinberg, Bitar, Tom, Beckley, Burtnick, and Tate), intermediaries between poker companies and payment processors (Lang and Franzen), payment processors (Rubin and Elie), and a banker (Campos). Mr. Elie is alleged to have been a “third party payment processor.” Ind. ¶ 2. The payment processors are alleged to have arranged with
banks to process payments for the poker companies and poker players. Ind. ¶¶ 9-12.
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