Convicted payment processor Chad Elie kept his promise and gave an interview to DiamondFlushPoker in which he describes his version of some of the inner workings that led up to the Black Friday shutdown of online poker sites.
One of eleven individuals indicted in U.S. v. PokerStars along with Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and PokerStars, Elie is preparing to begin a five-month jail term in the first part of 2013. He caused quite a commotion on Twitter recently when he posted documents related to his case, as well as a photo of himself shaking hands with Sen. Harry Reid. Elie is apparently attempting to set the record straight regarding certain statements made by Howard Lederer during his “Lederer Files” interviews. However, keep in mind that his reason for being interviewed may also be attributable to Elie seeking revenge on those who were instrumental in his downfall.
Most noteworthy in regards to the interview is Elie’s recollection of events at a 2010 New Year’s Eve party at which Elie was seated at the same table with Lederer. Despite Lederer’s claim that he had never met with the payment processor, Elie tells a somewhat different tale. Elie referred to the dinner party at the Cosmopolitan that included performances by Jay-Z and Coldplay as “nothing but the Howard Lederer show” at which “all he [Lederer] did was talk about himself and how he built a 3 billion dollar, 2 billion dollar company.”
Elie went on to say that he and Lederer had a lengthy discussion on payment processing, although it was New Year’s Eve and Elie’s companion was aghast that business was being discussed. “Howard told me that he needed processors just like us, that were transparent,” Elie recalled. “He said they couldn’t work with non-transparent processors anymore. I was in shock when he was being that open with me, about his other processors. It’s something that no one talked about.”
Certainly an interesting read for those unfamiliar with the seedy world of payment processing despite the portrayal of Elie in the interview as an altar boy who did no wrong. DiamondFlush’s statement that Elie’s time in jail “could have amounted to many many many years, God forbid, if you had been convicted on some of those charges” was a bit off-putting.
It’s important to note that at Elie’s sentencing, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said that Elie and his co-defendants were “spitting in the eyes of the government and the laws of the United States.”