Online Poker Defendant Campos Gets Three-Month Sentence

Former SunFirst Bank official John Campos, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor banking charge, was sentenced to three months in jail for his role in processing payments for an illegal Internet poker site.

Campos, 59, a former part-owner and vice chairman of the St. George, Utah, bank, received the sentence in a hearing today before U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan. Kaplan rejected Campos’s request for a non-jail sentence.

Kaplan told Campos he was “shocked” by testimony by a former lawyer for the bank that he had advised Campos that accepting the poker payments business would violate the law.

“You knew that what you were doing in connection with this bank was illegal and you went along anyway,” Kaplan said.

In addition to the jail time, Kaplan sentenced Campos to three years’ probation. As part of a plea deal, Campos agreed to be barred from serving as an officer or director of a bank.

Campos is one of 11 people charged last April, among them the founders of Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker. Prosecutors from the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan claim the three companies illegally circumvented a 2006 law that bars banks from processing payments to offshore gambling websites.

The case is U.S. v. Tzvetkoff, 10-CR-00336, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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