Christian Lusardi Earns Five Year Sentence for Borgata Chip Scandal; Admits using Fake Chips

Borgata_LogoFor some time now, we have been following the events from the 2014 Borgata Poker Open, which ended abruptly after counterfeit poker chips were found in play. After the pipes of the Harrah’s hotel busted, employees were able to chase the leak to Christian Lusardi’s guest room, where it appeared he had flushed poker chips down the toilet. It was found that Lusardi was the culprit behind the fake chips at the Borgata in Nevada and he has now been served five years in prison for his crimes.

Last month, Lusardi was indicted for the crime and ended up taking a plea deal this week. Lusardi admitted to trademark counterfeiting and criminal mischief and will only serve five years in prison due to the deal. By changing the charges and dropping the second-degree attempted theft by deception, Lusardi was able to avoid spending at least 5 to 10 additional years in prison.

Due to the incident, the Borgata claims they lost just over $463,000 in revenues as they had to cancel the tournament and compensate customers who took part. The total amount lost, $463,540, must now be paid by Lusardi to the casino. Lusardi also owns the Harrah Casino close to $10,000 for plumbing damages after he flushed chips down from his guest room. After it was all said and done, the Borgata and Harrah’s found over 3 million in chips combined. The Borgata found 800,000 of the counterfeit chips in play while the hotel found 2.7 million in the pipes.

Lusardi actually made it pretty far into the event, having held the chip lead going into Day 2. The buy-in for the event was $560 and 4,814 players competed. Lusardi earned a payout of $6,814 as he was eliminated early. The tournament was frozen with 27 players remaining, who were not paid at the time, but eventually given prize money at a later date, due to the investigation.


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