WASHINGTON, DC–(Marketwired – Feb 21, 2014) – A United States District Court Judge in Nevada dismissed Chad Elie’s claim against noted gaming attorney Jeff Ifrah on Monday. Elie had filed a suit against Ifrah Law after being sentenced to five months for his participation in the United States v. Scheinberg case in 2012, dubbed “Black Friday” by the online poker community. Elie, represented by Chattah Law, had made various allegations about Ifrah’s advice and actions prior to Black Friday, including the claim that Elie would not have processed payments for Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and PokerStars if Ifrah had not told him the practice was legal. In his order to dismiss, federal judge James C. Mahan said Elie’s claims directly contradicted his sworn statements under oath. Under oath, Elie had admitted that he knew his conduct was illegal while he committed the crime, and denied that his criminal conduct was based on the advice of counsel.
Chad Elie, a businessman from Las Vegas, is one of 11 men indicted in the Black Friday crackdown in April 2011 for playing the role of “payment processor” for all three of the Internet poker companies accused by US authorities of taking illegal bets from American citizens despite the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed in 2006. As US banks were generally not willing to accept or handle funds suspected of coming from Internet gambling, the poker companies used middlemen to process and disguise the payments. In a statement Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said Elie and others “lied to US banks by claiming that the financial transactions they were processing were for businesses other than internet poker companies” and “created phony corporations and websites to disguise payments to the poker companies.” Elie was sentenced to five months by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan who described his actions as “a deliberate or at least criminally reckless spitting in the eye of the government and laws of the United States.”
In April 2013, while still in federal prison, Elie filed a 22-page lawsuit in Clark County District Court against Ifrah, claiming that his formal lawyer committed “professional malpractice” by misleading him about the legalities of processing poker. Jeff Ifrah, the founder of Ifrah Law, was surprised about the allegations: “We can’t speculate why Chad Elie chose to strike out and blame us for his own actions. We can only speak to the facts. And those facts are clear, unambiguous, and directly contradict Elie’s claims against us. We pride ourselves on our strong, long-term relationships with clients, so when a former client sued us we were extremely shocked and disheartened,” Ifrah said. “However, what was truly confounding and upsetting was how far out of left field and utterly false these claims were.” Apparently Judge Mahan agreed and now granted the blanket motion to dismiss Elie’s complaint, which Ifrah had filed in June 2013.
Jeff Ifrah is the founding member of Ifrah Law PLLC, a law firm specializing in iGaming, headquartered in Washington, D.C. with offices in MD, VA and Atlantic City. Jeff is widely regarded as a leading expert on matters related to iGaming and currently represents a wide range of clients in the iGaming industry including online gaming companies, fantasy sports companies, payment processors and identity verification companies. Jeff was named to the Gaming Intelligence Magazine Hot 50 List last year, serves on the editorial board of the World Online Gambling Report and is a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law. Ifrah Law attorneys also author two noted blogs: www.crimeinthesuites.com, an analysis of current issues in white-collar defense, and www.ftcbeat.com, FTC and State AG News for Ecommerce.
Jeff Ifrah Law: http://www.jeffifrahlaw.com