Poker defendant pleads guilty

NEW YORK -- One of two men nearing trial in a case that shut
down U.S. operations for three Internet poker companies has pleaded guilty to charges in U.S. District Court.

Chad Elie pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bank fraud and operating an illegal gambling business on Monday. He faces between six months to a year in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 3.

The plea came as the money processor was scheduled to go to trial on April 9, along with former bank executive John Campos.

On Tuesday, Campos reached a deal to plead to a single misdemeanor charge, Forbes magazine reported on its website, citing three sources familiar with the situation.

Both men had had asserted their innocence.

Elie and Campos were the only men headed to trial after others among eleven people charged in the Internet gambling case reached plea agreements or remained fugitives.

Prosecutors have sought $3 billion in money laundering penalties and forfeiture after targeting three companies based overseas: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker. Full Tilt defended its executives.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.