Christian Lusardi Earns Jail Time for Copyright Infringement; Not Borgata Counterfeit Scandal

After the Borgata counterfeit chip scandal during the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open, many felt as though the alleged mastermind behind the incident, Christian Lusardi, would earn jail time for his crimes. The poker player was recently given a sentence of five years in prison but not in connection with the fake poker chip case. Lusardi actually earned jail time for copyright infringement, charges the player faced before the ‘chipgate’ incident. The Borgata chip scandal just helped to put the finishing touches on the defense to be able to charge Lusardi for his involvement with pirated DVDs.

Last week, Lusardi pled guilty to copyright infringement and trafficking in counterfeit labels which gave him a five year prison sentence. He also was given three years of probation and $1.1 million in restitution fees. Lusardi was already under investigation for the piracy when he allegedly introduced the fake poker chips into game play at the Borgata Winter Poker Open. Since 2010, the poker player was under surveillance and it was after he was arrested for the fake chip incident that police were able to raid his home and find items incriminated him in the copyright case.

During the search of his home in North Carolina, police found more than 37,000 pirated DVDs that Lusardi would sell. He sold the DVDs online, flea markets and at pawn shops. Equipment used for making the DVDs was found in his home including DVD burners, equipment for packaging and shipping labels.

According to PocketFives, police also spoke with Lusardi’s ex-wife who stated that the fake chips were part of the shipments that would come in from China. His ex-wife admitted that Lusardi would use his child to help create the counterfeits and his then girlfriend (at the time) also confirmed what the ex-wife was saying.

With the fake poker chips, Lusardi allegedly introduced 800,000 of a stash into the Borgata poker tournament. Once the fake chips were discovered, officials of the casino shut down the event. It was not until a clog in the plumbing system of the hotel that Lusardi was determined a person of interest. He apparently tried shoving the rest of the fake chips into the toilet to get rid of the evidence. He was later found at another hotel located in Atlantic City a few days after the incident.

Because the copyright infringement charges are of a federal level, this case took precedence. Officials in New Jersey can still fight the case of the counterfeit chips but may decide to leave things be as Lusardi is already going to be serving five years for his other crimes.

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