Ifrah Law Announces Win in Chad Elie Case
Judge Dismisses All Claims by Convicted Online Poker Payment Processor; Ifrah to Consider Defamation Charges
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ifrah Law announced today that a United States District Court Judge on Monday dismissed claims against noted gaming attorney Jeff Ifrah made by convicted online poker payment processor Chad Elie. The disgraced payment processor was convicted of fraud and other charges in 2012, serving five months in jail. At Elie’s sentencing, Judge Lewis Kaplan described his actions as “a deliberate or at least criminally reckless spitting in the eye of the government and laws of the United States.”
“We pride ourselves on our strong, long-term relationships with clients, so when a former client sued us we were extremely shocked and disheartened”
“We can’t speculate why Chad Elie chose to strike out and blame us for his own actions,” said Jeff Ifrah, the founder of Ifrah Law. “We can only speak to the facts. And those facts are clear, unambiguous, and directly contradict Elie’s claims against us.”
As part of the U.S. government’s “Black Friday” crackdown in 2011 on three Internet poker companies — PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker — Elie was indicted and pled guilty to charges of conspiring to commit bank fraud and operating an illegal gambling business.
In April 2013, while still in jail, Elie filed suit against Ifrah, claiming Ifrah misled him about the legalities of processing poker. He also took to Twitter, making disparaging allegations against numerous former business partners and claiming to be a government scapegoat.
“We pride ourselves on our strong, long-term relationships with clients, so when a former client sued us we were extremely shocked and disheartened,” Ifrah said. “However, what was truly confounding and upsetting was how far out of left field and utterly false these claims were.”
In his order to dismiss, U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan said Elie’s claims directly contradicted his sworn statements under oath. Under oath, Elie admitted that he knew his conduct was illegal while he committed the crime, and denied that his criminal conduct was based on the advice of counsel.
“But the evidence doesn’t end there,” Ifrah said. “Prior to his guilty plea, Elie contradicted his later statements under oath, claiming he relied upon the advice of several lawyers about the legality of his actions. However — and this is important — he never once claimed to have received any legal advice from my firm or myself. Even more damning is the fact that Elie knowingly and illegally processed payments for nearly two years before his first-ever contact with our firm and myself.”
Ifrah continued: “While we wish to put this case behind us, we now have our reputations — which we’ve worked extremely hard to build — to repair. We are pursuing legal fees and will consider a defamation claim.”
About Ifrah Law
Ifrah Law is a Washington, D.C.-based law firm that represents clients in a variety of litigation settings. Founded in 2009, the firm specializes in Internet advertising, igaming, government contracts and healthcare. Its attorneys also author two noted blogs: www.crimeinthesuites.com, an analysis of current issues in white collar defense, and www.ftcbeat.com, FTC and State AG News for Ecommerce. For more information, please visit www.ifrahlaw.com.