Imprisoned 'Black Friday' Internet poker figure files lawsuit against his former attorney


A lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court last week by imprisoned Internet poker payment processor Chad Elie set off the poker blogosphere.

Elie, the only Las Vegas resident charged in the federal government’s April 15, 2011 “Black Friday” crackdown on Internet poker, said in the 22-page lawsuit that his former lawyer committed “professional malpractice” by misleading him about the legalities of processing poker business.

Elie, who reportedly help facilitate payments between poker players and Utah-based Sun First Bank, claimed in the lawsuit that he paid his attorney, Washington D.C.-based Jeff Ifrah, $4 million, including $1 million in commission payments from Elie’s payment processing company.

In the lawsuit, which was first reported by Forbes.com, Elie said Ifrah also was working for PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. The lawsuit, which landed in front of Clark County District Judge Timothy Williams, claimed the attorney gave Elie “wrong advice regarding poker processing” while hiding “critical documentation” from his client.

Ifrah declined comment to Forbes.

Elie was one of 11 individuals named in the “Black Friday” indictment, which shut down U.S. player access to the websites for PokerStars and Full Tilt.

Elie pleaded guilty last year to charges of conspiring to commit bank fraud and operating an illegal gambling business. He is serving time in federal prison and reportedly will be released in June.

After accepting the plea deal, Elie went public on how he was a scapegoat in the Internet poker crackdown, becoming vocal on Twitter. He gave a lengthy interview to the website Diamond Flush Poker. He also posted photos of himself via Twitter with such notables as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

On the weekend after he was indicted, Review-Journal columnist Norm Clarke reported Elie married former Playboy Playmate Destiny Davis.