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Paul Phua charged with conspiracy


Federal prosecutors in Nevada have charged Paul Phua with conspiracy, adding to his current charges of operating an illegal gambling business and transmission of wagering information, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Phua, 50, who is the last man standing of the eight arrested in July 2014 for allegedly running an illegal betting operation on the World Cup out of Caesars Palace, has spent the last year under house arrest in Vegas. 

“A conspiracy charge is the darling of a prosecutor’s nursery,” defense lawyer David Chesnoff was quoted by the Las Vegas Review Journal as saying. 

“Mr. Phua maintains his innocence. You cannot be guilty of conspiracy if you never agreed to do anything that’s illegal.” Phua has been summoned to appear in court on May 20.

The charges stem from an FBI-led raid at three luxury Caesars Palace villas used in what authorities said was a worldwide multimillion-dollar betting operation.

The evidence taken from the other villas is “more than sufficient to sustain” Phua’s conviction at trial, prosecutors wrote in court documents filed this week, the Review-Journal reported.

“The evidence demonstrates the defendant did much more than just place bets,” prosecutors added. “Rather, the defendant maintained a leadership role in the illegal betting operation.”

Last month, U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon ruled that FBI agents violated Phua’s privacy rights when they entered his Caesars Palace villa posing as repairmen to secretly gather evidence days before conducting the raid.

 

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