Christian Lusardi, the poker player accused of boosting his chip stack by introducing fake chips at a Borgata poker tournament in Atlantic City in January, is facing copyright infringement charges for allegedly pirating DVDs.
Under investigation by customs agents for about a year and a half, Lusardi’s home in Fayeteville, North Carolina contained over 37,000 bootleg DVDs when authorities conducted a search. Also recovered was equipment used to burn DVDs to further the illicit pirating operation, WRAL.com reported.
While on to Lusardi’s alleged scheme, agents began intercepting packages containing DVDs coming from China that were addressed to his residence. Lusardi also reportedly admitted to investigators that he attempted to avoid detection by having several DVD deliveries make their way to the residences of his friends and relatives.
Lusardi allegedly made nearly $1 million selling the bootleg DVDs over the Internet. Flea markets in Fayeteville and Raleigh were also reportedly used to unload the pirated entertainment for additional cash.
Fake poker chips valued at 2.7 million in tournament play were found by casino maintenance employees after unclogging a hotel room pipe at Harrah’s Resort and Casino during the Borgata Winter Open late last month. The clogged pipe was traced to the room of Lusardi, who seemingly failed to connect on a straight flush after dumping the counterfeit chips in the toilet.
Some 800,000 in fake chips were found in play at the tournament in which Lusardi cashed for over $6k. Lusardi was arrested and booked on charges of rigging a public contest and theft. The tournament was subsequently canceled, with online poker forums now filled with posts from players suggesting ways to increase security.
Custom agents in the bootleg DVD case pointed out that among the recent shipments from China addressed to Lusardi was a box said to be labeled as containing “plastic chips.” Lusardi is not a stranger to law enforcement in his home state of North Carolina, where authorities charged him almost six years ago with operating an illegal gambling house.
Lusardi has two live tournament cashes to his name, according to the Hendon Mob database. In 2008, a second place finish at Harrah’s Atlantic City in $300 + $40 No-Limit Hold’em on the WSOP Circuit was good for $29,189. Just one month later at the 2009 Borgata Winter Open, Lusardi claimed 28th place and earned a payday of $1,556 after buying in for $750 + $60.