The agreement between the prosecutors and legal counsel of John Campos, one of the bankers in connection with Black Friday events, was reached last month. However the judge in charge of the case has just accepted the plea deal.
John Campos was the vice-chairman of SunFirst Bank in Utah at the time of indictments. His initial charges included five counts of felonies for assisting in processing payments for online poker sites in United States.
According to United States gambling news, contrary to other figurants in the Black Friday cases, Campos and his co-defendant Chad Elie opted for a jury trial. However, with only two weeks to go until the commencement of the trial, Elie decided to take the deal, worked out with prosecutors, and plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy.
Campos followed the next day, and went on to plead guilty to a misdemeanor of “causing a bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to process illegal gambling transactions.” Yet Campos’ deal was short-lived, as soon as Judge Lewis Kaplan put its leniency under question.
The up-keeper of American gambling laws, Kaplan, inquired with the prosecutors if they are simply abandoning the case. The legal team was quick to admit their concerns whether they stood any chance in a jury trial. The change of heart was mostly triggered by the recent change of heart by the DoJ, where the Wire Act stance on the online poker was altered.
Prosecutors also voiced concerns that a possible “not guilty” verdict could possible jeopardize any future trials connected with Black Friday. Despite these arguments, Kaplan still made prosecutors submit a written explanation why the deal should go forward.
Preet Bharara, Arlo Devlin-Brown and Andrew Goldstein, the prosecutors, carried out the judge’s orders and stated that Campos’ involvement in the case was “relatively minor” in comparison to other indicted figures. Prosecutors also noted that the sentencing guidelines for the single count of misdemeanor charge were very similar to the original felony charges.
Judge Kaplan was satisfied with the argument and went on to approve the deal, leaving John Campos facing a maximum of six months in jail. Sentencing is scheduled for June 27.