Guilty Plea Accepted for Banker in Black Friday Case

By Debra SaundersGoogle

United States District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan accepted a guilty plea from former SunFirst Bank banker John Campos, who was indicted on charges of illegally processing payments for online casino games companies. Campos was arrested in April 2011 after an indictment was filed against him, Chad Elie and other poker company owners in what has been called the Black Friday Case.

Campos pled to a single misdemeanor charge of allowing a bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to process illegal gambling transactions. The judge accepted the plea bargain after a lengthily process in which the prosecution submitted a letter to the judge stating that Campos’ role in the case had been relatively minor. The prosecution argued that sentencing would have been similar for the misdemeanor charge as for the felony he faced earlier.

Campos was accused of striking a deal with Elie and other top rated online casino owners to use the bank in which he worked to process funds from players in exchange for a ten million dollar investment in the bank and a $20,000 bonus to him for consulting services. Elie and the others initially approached the Utah-based banker in 2009. SunFirst Bank ultimately processed about $200 million in payments in less than a year until ordered by the FDIC to stop.

Earlier this month, Elie also pled guilty to reduced charges in the case.

As part of his plea deal, Campos has agreed to a lifetime ban from the banking industry. He is scheduled to face a June 27th sentencing hearing at which he could potentially receive up to six months in prison.

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