U.S. Judge Questions Campos Plea Deal

03 April 2012

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan wants an explanation from the government on why it let Utah banker John Campos plead guilty to a misdemeanor instead of a felony. The government’s plan to prosecute Campos and avoid an April 9th trail has hit a snag.

Of the dozen of individuals that have been charged from Black Friday last April, some have already pleaded guilty. Half remain at large and this is the only scheduled trail. Campos admitted the bank which he served as vice-chairman of its board of directors as well as part owner processed $200 million in gambling proceeds from 2009-2011.

Questioning Campos’ sentence, Judge Kaplan asked why the government is “…basically walking away from the prosecution?” He will decide whether to except the pleas June 27th. Assistant US Attorney Arlo Devlin-Brown said that the deal is takes in consideration the risks of going to trail.

One of those risks is that a jury may find that it is not illegal to process money for online gambling companies. Devlin-Brown said, “There would be a risk that a jury on that basis could have a problem.”

As part of his plea, Campas said, SunFirst Bank processed online gambling proceeds and that PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker promised to invest $10 million in his bank. He also said the investment was not because he agreed to process the gambling proceeds.