Posts Tagged ‘Chad Elie’

Jeff Ifrah seeks to have his day in federal court

by , May 23, 2013 | 3:21 pm

Gaming attorney Jeff Ifrah and his law firm have removed the Nevada state civil case against them filed by Chad Elie to the US District Court for the District of Nevada. “Removal” refers to the transfer of a case from a state court to a federal court that includes the place where the state action was pending, so the venue in Nevada makes sense. Only defendants may remove cases to federal court. To remove, the case must be eligible to have been filed in federal court in the first place. In this case, the federal court’s diversity jurisdiction appears to be met because Elie and Ifrah are citizens of different states and the matter in controversy exceeds $75,000.

Presumably Ifrah wants to get this in front of the federal bench because he’s more confident of his hearing there than in state court. And perhaps there will be a further move to transfer this case east of Nevada, to another federal court. Time will tell.

The case is number 2:13-cv-00888-JCM-VCF.


Update on Elie v. Ifrah lawsuit

Amended complaint hits court docket

by , May 15, 2013 | 2:41 pm

The attorney for Chad Elie filed an amended complaint against Jeff Ifrah, Ifrah PLLC, and others yesterday in the District Court of Clark County, Nevada. Recall that the original complaint had some very serious allegations made as against Ifrah (none of which have been proved in court). The amended complaint has the same basic claims for relief, but expands upon some of the earlier allegations and offers some further particulars.

For example, paragraph 3 of the complaint now pleads that Ifrah is licensed as an attorney in the District of Columbia but not in Nevada, California, Florida, or Illinois, even though “he performed services for and provided legal advice to” Elie while Elie was in those jurisdictions. (Interestingly, however, it’s not specifically pleaded that Ifrah gave Elie Nevada, California, Florida, or Illinois legal advice.) Paragraph 7 is now explicit in introducing the client conflict that is a big part of Elie’s purported case: that Ifrah was conflicted in representing both PokerStars and Full Tilt (for whom he is alleged to have been rustling up processing solutions) and Elie (who was exposed to criminal sanction for providing those solutions). This doesn’t change much; the original complaint was clear on this point, but the amended version ties this characterization in earlier in the narrative and gives some additional factual basis for it.

Another new tidbit is the claim that Ifrah requested that Elie’s payments to him be characterized as payments for “consulting” services rather than legal services (see new paragraph 59). Ifrah is alleged to have done this so that he would not be conflicted out of representing criminal defendants when and if indictments for payment processing were handed down, as Ifrah expected, for example, like those coming out of the SDNY on Black Friday. (See new paragraphs 60 and 74.) Elie’s amended complaint states that Ifrah subsequently denied that he even acted for Elie in putting together Elie’s processing deals.

Assuming that the original complaint was served on or about April 11th, Ifrah and his firm appear to have 10 days to respond to the amended complaint after service.


Instapoker

Phil Ivey wins 9th bracelet, Negreanu wins WSOP APAC Main Event

by , Apr 16, 2013 | 10:00 am

Phil Ivey wins 9th Photo: WSOP.com

Phil Ivey wins 9th
Photo: WSOP.com


Today’s Boxscore

Daniel Negreanu $1,038,825 – WSOP APAC Main Event
Phil Ivey $51,840 – WSOP APAC Mixed Event
Philipp Gruissem $825,000 – WSOP APAC High Roller
Aaron Lim $233,800 – WSOP APAC Six Handed


It was a fun weekend in Australia as two of the biggest names in poker captured WSOP APAC braclets. Phil Ivey won his 9th career bracelet in the Mixed Event, a tournament on the smaller side but impressive none the less. This win puts him in a tie with poker legend Johnny Moss and just one behind Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan. After his run at the WSOP in 2012, there will be a lot of money on him winning another this summer.

Daniel Negreanu ended his 5 year WSOP drought by taking down the APAC Main Event for this 5th career bracelet. The title puts him in a tie with a boatload of other top players including Allen Cunningham, Ted Forrest, Scotty Nguyen, Jeff Lisandro, John Juanda, and the late great Stu Ungar. This was Negreanu’s second big chance to win a WSOP Main Event title after finishing 2nd at the WSOP Europe in 2009. It was probably fortunate he had to battle Daniel Marton heads up instead of having Barry Shulman own his soul.



Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Down goes Hellmuth! As captured by Jason Koon.

Online poker industry still reeling two years after federal ‘Black Friday’ crackdown – Looking at the game two years after the US government and the DOJ slammed shut the door of online poker.

Online poker players gambling on a life abroad – The Toronto Star with a look at the trend of players moving away from the States to practice their craft since Black Friday.

Chad Elie Files Malpractice Lawsuit Against Former Full Tilt Poker Attorney Jeff Ifrah – Chad Elie, currently serving time from the Black Friday indictments, filed a malpractice lawsuit against a one time FTP lawyer over a legal opinion on the legal status of third party payment processors.

Two San Francisco Public Utilities Commission workers fired over porn, online gambling – Online gambling and (oh my god!) porn caused a few poor workers to get fired in San Francisco. Wonder which of the two weighed heavier in the firing decision.

Looking Inside Poker’s Greatest Minds with Ivey, Negreanu, Hellmuth and More – Very funny video from the minds at PokerListings down at the WSOP APAC. Then ChipBitch showed up and stole the clip.


The Bitar End

@OPReport's Online Poker Bulletin

by , | 6:05 am

From OnlinePokerReport.com for the week of April 15th …

STORIES TO WATCH THIS WEEK

#1. Ray Bitar completed the first step of a deal with the US Government last week. Word is his sentencing hearing could come this Friday. Jail time seems unlikely, but isn’t completely off the table

#2. Illinois state senator Terry Link proposed a new path to online gambling by amending SB1995 last week to allow the Illinois Lottery to offer online “draw-based games,” defined as “games where a series of numbers or characters are determined to be the winning numbers or characters by a mechanical or computerized random number generator at a drawing time specified by the Department.”

In the week ahead I’ll be watching the bill for additional amendments and also for opinions on whether online poker can be crammed into the above definition.

+ THE WEEK THAT WAS

RECENTLY FROM OPR

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be filling Matt Kaufman’s chair on Rabbit HuntCardRunners’ weekly poker news podcast. It’s available on iTunes here.

PICKS

#GoodRead – An amicus brief filed by a roster of poker notables makes a compelling argument for poker as a game of skill.

@Follow  – @AlexandraBerzon covers the casino industry for the WSJ.

Follow OPReport: @OPReport / Google +


Black Friday Fallout Continues

@BlackFridayChad Elie sues attorney @JIfrah

by , Apr 12, 2013 | 2:57 pm

Courtesy of Nathan Vardi, today comes news that Chad Elie, a Black Friday defendant now serving federal time, has sued Washington D.C. lawyer Jeff Ifrah and his law firm, Ifrah PLLC, whom Elie alleges were retained to represent him. The complaint was filed yesterday in the District Court in Clark County, Nevada; a copy of the complaint is available here.

Part of the complaint is devoted to Ifrah’s defence (or purported lack thereof) of Elie in a prior case commenced in Nevada state court and subsequently removed to federal court.

But the potentially explosive part of the claim concerns alleged payments that Ifrah received payments from Elie’s LLC (21 Debit) as “commission[s] on procuring the deals with the banks which processed poker transactions.” In so doing, Elie alleges that Ifrah acted in a conflict of interest vis-a-vis Elie and his other clients and withheld critical information from Elie about the illegality of payment processing for online poker in the United States. Elie states that Ifrah received $100,000 per month as his cut for this processing and more than $1M in total therefrom.

The other incendiary claim is that Ifrah disclosed privileged and false information to the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York “in order to avoid indictment from the US Attorney’s office for his own illegal activities.”

This is just a complaint at this stage; none of this is evidence and nothing has been proved in court. Ifrah will doubtless respond. Given the seriousness of the allegations, the response should be every bit as good a read as the complaint.

 


In Brief: Legal Biznass

Poker Law, Politics, Business, and Crime

by , Dec 8, 2011 | 6:26 pm

We spend so much time reading about poker legal developments here at Pokerati that we sometimes forget to share the relevant news before the cycle turns to something else … and then I complain that our readers here aren’t as smart anymore as they used to be? It doesn’t take a JD to see the flaw in my logic there. Thus, here’s a much-needed batch of recent highlights and hedlines to keep the incessant but important buzz in context … a semi-special link-dump, btw, brought to you by our new-good friends at LegalPokerSites.com:

First UIGEA Conviction in the Books The DOJ logged their first win on UIGEA charges — making the supposedly weak law thus far undefeated — against online sportsbook operator Todd Lyons. His arrest back in May 2010 shoulda been a big warning sign to American online poker operators (and players?) — and Full Tilt specifically — that the DOJ was coming to get them! [CalvinAyre.com]

First Black Friday Trial Date Set John Campos and Chad Elie, the Utah banker and PokerStars payment processor indicted for their role in online poker criminal activity, have a trial date in March … creating a tangible timeline for Black Friday cases and added pressure on the big fish the DOJ really wants — Isai Sheinberg, Ray Bitar, and Scott Tom. [Legal Poker Sites]

MGM Sues Poker Domain Squatters Just as Caesars sued (and won) to obtain the domain WSOP.com, MGM has filed suit to repossess the domains mgmpoker.com, bellagiopoker.com, luxorpoker.com, mandalaybaypoker.com, and ariapoker.com. Apparently the casino giant thinks they’ll have need for them soon. [VegasInc]

Barton Says Online Poker Bill Still Alive This Congress Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) gave a luncheon keynote at the DGLP, where he spelled out how his online poker bill is moving forward as a piece of stand-alone legislation and/or still could be absorbed into some omnibus bills. Pretty straight-forward, honest-sounding stuff as Barton even talks about his own live real-money play and admits to multi-accounting for play money on PokerStars. [Pokerati Soundcloud]

Adelson Balks at Readiness for Online Poker The poker masses got spun into a tizzy after Vegas politico Jon Ralston “reported” that Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson has been buzzing around DC that he is morally opposed to online gambling … and that age-verification technology isn’t ready yet. Ralston concludes that this could kill online poker’s chances in Congress as if Adelson alone is more powerful than the combined forces of Caesars, MGM, Steve Wynn, Station Casinos, Boyd Gaming, Michael Gaughan, et al. Quick to cry, some poker players have begun calling for a boycott of Venetian Poker. [Las Vegas Sun]

Nevada Regulations Almost Ready While so many chatter about complex details of future online poker, the Nevada Gaming Commission and State Gaming Control Board seem to be the only ones systematically moving forward with thorough, enforceable rules and regulations for online gaming. In one of the biggest overhauls to state gaming regs in history, they just released a whole bunch of revisions for licensure and suitable ownership that Big and Small casinos alike are paying close attention to. [gaming.NV.gov]

Fry Howie? Funny/sad, shortly after Black Friday I thought we might be seeing T-shirts that said “Free Howard!” not “Fry Howard!” But loyalty can be a fickle bitch when you eff up with someone else’s money. Hence this flash creation for players wishing to express their personal outrage against Full Tilt and Howard Lederer violently. [PokerListings]

UB Player Database Leaked Lots of offline debate over how and why nearly 3 million poker-player IDs leaked out. Work of a disgruntled employee or scuttling the ship before UB ultimately hits sea-floor? And will there be more such pressings of self-destruct? [Haley’s Poker Blog]

Rest o’World: Cyprus on Crackdown, South Africa’s Open-Market Mind, German Pre-unification Some of the other key political moves from the rest of the world, as the future of legal online poker (and gambling) actively takes shape … the mediterranean island that isn’t Malta doesn’t have moral opposition, they just want their cut (kinda like Kentucky) … while South Africa continues its progressive-minded movement from staunch opposition to tolerance to active support of online gambling … all while the German province of Schleswig-Holstein’s acceptance of new online poker rules is so big it actually moved some major market needles. [Legal Poker Sites]


DOJ Response to Black Friday Response: LOL

Alleges PokerStars mafia connek; declares sports betting a game of skill, too

by , Nov 10, 2011 | 10:27 pm

The DOJ has laid out more of its case against Isai Scheinberg, Ray Bitar, et al — in a 58-page response to the response from two Black Friday indictees, payment processor Chad Elie and the Utah banker John Campos.



The People vs. Online Poker



Among other denials, Campos and Elie sought to get much of the case thrown out on the grounds that the UIGEA is a bad law and/or poker isn’t gambling. With the action back on the DOJ, Preet Bharara assistant Arlo Devlin Brown delivers some rather compelling legal composition (the best writing is in the footnotes, imho) that reads like a big STFU from SDNY … with a message of hey, better watch it or we could indict the whole damn poker industry!

I’m paraphrasing, obv … but here’s the full Government’s Response to Defendants’ Pre-Trial Motions. They purport to have a mountain of evidence ready for trial … and show a century’s worth of precedent to snuff out any hopes that poker people could actually win this case.

With the standard disclaimer of “I’m not a lawyer but …” some fascinating elements include:

More…


Ray Bitar Challenges the DOJ without a Lawyer?

... while B-list Black Friday indictees put forth biggest UIGEA challenge to date

by , Oct 3, 2011 | 10:10 am

nevada license plate notaryI gotta think representing himself pro se against the DOJ was not part of the original plan. But that’s the real story (imho) yet to be noted in Ray Bitar’s claims that he wants some of his property back (including two bank accounts in Pokerati’s old Dallas stomping grounds).

Have a look at the document. He filed the motion himself — “Verified Claim of Raymond Bitar, Pursuant to Rule G of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty and Maritime Claims” — with an Irish notary public to make it official.

I certainly don’t know the nuances of Rule G of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty and Maritime Claims, but it seems complex enough that an attorney might-should usually be filing this kinda thing. And the lack of legal counsel’s involvement in this civil matter raises plenty of questions about the financial status of Bitar … and maybe even the motivations of various comments by Full Tilt attorneys who may or may not be still be getting paid.

More…