Borgata Chip Fraudster Still in Prison After All

In recent days, the poker media has been circulating a story stating that notorious tournament cheat Christian Lusardi has been released from prison after serving just 6 months of his five-year sentence. The information was based upon research carried out by members of the Poker Fraud Alert forum, but it now seems that the news is incorrect.
According to a recent report, Lusardi still resides behind bars, with the rumor of his early release having been started after he was paroled on July 25th, but never released. Instead, the “counterfeit chip” cheat was transferred from an unnamed New Jersey state prison to a Federal Correctional Institution located in Edgefield, South Carolina.
FCI Edgefield is described as “a medium security federal correctional institution with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp.” While the reason for his transferral is unknown, it has been speculated that it might be in order to receive specialized behavioral treatment unavailable at his last location, or even to enable him to be situated nearer to his North Carolina-based family.
In any case, respected poker writer Jessica Welman has been doing some digging of her own, and in an article released this week revealed that Federal Bureau of Prisons records still shows Lusardi behind bars at Edgefield. Furthermore, the records show that his release is not expected until June 8th, 2019. While Lusardi may be released early if the facility’s parole board deem him eligible, according to federal sentencing guidelines he will still have to serve a minimum of 85% of his sentence before that becomes possible.
In 2014, Lusardi caused the Borgata Winter Open $560 Big Stack event to be abandoned after he was found to have used around 3.5 million in counterfeit chips during the tournament. As well as costing the casino thousands of dollars in lost revenues, his actions also prevented the event’s last 27 players from receiving their just rewards. Instead, they were forced to accept a payment of just $19,323 each.

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