Chad Elie, 32, who was one of the 11 people charged in the April 2011 Black Friday indictments was sentenced to five months in prison for helping to deceive banks into processing hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal gambling transactions for poker companies, including PokerStars and Full Tilt.
Elie had previously pled guilty to a single charge of bank fraud back in March 2012 which carried a maximum sentence term of five years but the presiding Judge Kaplan stated that he was going to limit the sentence to between six and twelve months under the terms of the plea agreement.
In addition to the prison term, Elie had to forfeit all claims to $25 million seized from his payment processing accounts, pay an additional $500,000 penalty, and will be subject to an additional two years of “supervised release.”
Elie gave a brief statement to the court. “I’d just like to apologize to my family and friends for the pain and disappointment I caused them and ask for their forgiveness,” he said.
Even though Elie’s lawyer, Barry Berke, pleaded for home confinement as a means of serving a sentence, Judge Kaplan commented that a sentence without jail time would be too lenient. The judge went on to say about the actions of all the defendants that “there was a deliberate or at least criminally reckless spitting in the eyes of the government and the laws of the United States.”
Other defendants are awaiting their hearings but if Elie’s case is any indication of things to come, some jail time is imminent, though the duration of the sentence appears far more bearable than the multi-year potential jail terms mentioned in the original indictment charges.