After being arrested in January of 2014, Christian Lusardi has waited to be indicted for his part in a counterfeit chip scandal at the Borgata Winter Poker Open. The poker player took part in the event and was alleged to have introduced counterfeit chips into game play. Just yesterday, Lusardi was officially indicted on three charges including third degree criminal mischief, attempted theft by deception in the second degree and trademark counterfeiting in the second degree.
The New Jersey Acting Attorney General commented that the poker player’s alleged scheme was that of a Hollywood movie plot. Despite the theatrics of the scandal, it is important that sight is not lost as to how serious the crime is. By placing phony chips into game play, the AG says that Lusardi cheated players as well as cost the Borgata out of lost tournament revenues.
During the event, Lusardi played in the tournament and once busted out, he then returned to his hotel room at the Harrah’s. In his guest room, Lusardi took his leftover counterfeit chips and flushed them down the toilet. The incident cost the hotel $10,000 in damages and it was the toilet issues that eventually saw Lusardi connected to the incident.
The pro earned close to $7,000 during his participation in the tournament, which was soon paused after the fake chips were discovered. By April of this year, Lusardi was jailed for a different charge, involving counterfeit DVDS and a copyright infringement charge. For this charge, the pro earned a five year prison sentence and was given three years of probation after his release. He also had to pay $1.1 million in restitution.
The Borgata was criticized as to how they handled the situation, with players paid out a certain amount, much lower than expected if the tournament had played out. Players actually sued the casino to try and reclaim monies they felt they were owed due to the fake chip scandal.