After deciding to take a plea deal back in August for his actions at the 2014 Winter Poker Open, Christian Lusardi has been sentenced. Yesterday, a judge sentenced Lusardi to prison for five years and ordered the poker player to pay restitution to the Borgata Casino in the amount of $463,540. This was the amount lost during the cancellation of the tournament in Atlantic City plus damages to the Harrah’s Casino Hotel plumbing with the fake counterfeit chips.
Lusardi pled guilty to trademark counterfeiting and criminal mischief based on what happened in 2014 during the Borgata Winter Poker Open in Atlantic City. Authorities found that Lusardi had created a scheme to introduce fake poker chips into game play during the event. Lusardi was only discovered after he had flushed the remainder of the chips down the toilet while staying at the Harrah’s Resort.
The chips did not go down the drain correctly and clogged the plumbing piping. The issue was discovered once the guests just below Lusardi’s room found out that water was dripping. Once maintenance arrived, it was found that the poker chips had been flushed and they traced back to Lusardi’s guest room.
In total, authorities and casino personnel were able to recover $3.6 million in tournament poker chips, yet the chips had no real value due to being fake. The tournament was set to take place for three weeks but was cut very short, down to just three days after the fake poker chips were discovered. During the investigation, it was found that Lusardi had introduced $800,000 in counterfeit chips into game play during the first two days of the event.
The chips were found to have been created by a manufacturer in China who sent the chips to Lusardi after he purchased them online. It was Lusardi who put the Borgata logo on each chip. After this incident, the Borgata Casino decided to use an intricate chip with more colors and an element of authentication that can only be seen under an ultraviolet light.
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