Borgata Chip Fraudster Released After Just 6 MonthsJanuary 17, 2017 1:32 pm
Christian Lusardi, the man at the centre of a tournament scandal which rocked the poker world in 2014, has been released from prison after serving around one-tenth of his original five-year sentence.
In January 2014, Christian Lusardi caused chaos at the Borgata Winter Open after it was discovered he had been using counterfeit chips during the casino’s $560 Big Stack NLHE Re-entry event. Lusardi was busted after 2.7 million worth of fake tournament chips were found flushed down his hotel room’s toilet, and a subsequent tournament count found a further 800,000 in fake chips still in use.
The tournament then had to be abandoned, in the process costing the Borgata thousands of dollars in lost revenues, not to mention the goodwill of the last 27 competitors in the event who were compensated $19,323 each, a mere pittance compared to what they might otherwise have expected.
Lusardi was subsequently sentenced to five years behind bars, with his stretch increased to eight years for another unrelated crime related to selling bootlegged DVDs. As Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, commented at the time:
“Lusardi lost big when his alleged scheme was foiled by a leaking sewer pipe, which led to his quick apprehension by the New Jersey State Police Casino Investigations Unit.”
However, the man who rocked the tournament industry a few years back apparently was paroled in the summer of 2016, and has since been at liberty. Details of Lusardi’s release were discovered by members of the Poker Fraud Alert forum, who upon searching the State of New Jersey Department of Corrections website discovered Lusardi spent from just December 1st 2015 to July 25th 2016 in prison. Commenting on their finding, Todd “DanDruff” Witteles, stated:
“This is outrageous, given the amount of damage his actions caused, coupled with the fact that he’s a career scammer and already had a recent conviction for DVD counterfeiting on his record before this trial.”