Judge Orders Delay in Black Friday Defendant Chad Elie’s Prison Reporting
Legal counsel for Black Friday defendant and online payment processor Chad Elie has convinced the sentencing judge in Elie’s case, Lewis A. Kaplan, to recommend to New York state prison authorities that Elie’s five-month sentence be served in less severe prison surroundings than the “prison camp within a maximum-security prison” originally designated in Elie’s sentencing obstructions.
Kaplan’s order, dated January 2, 2013, also delays Elie’s reporting date from January 7 to January 28 to allow prison officials to consider the court’s recommendation.
Elie was sentenced in early Novermber to a five-month term to be served at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, also known as MDC Brooklyn. The actual prison camp where Elie was to serve his sentence is designated as minimum security, but is within the confines of the larger MDC Brooklyn facility, and offers less priveleges than other minimum-security facilities.
The restriction of inmates’ family members to visitation only on weekends was among the factors cited by Elie in a written plea to Judge Kaplan dated December 27.
Kaplan reacted favorably to Elie’s plea, and issued the reporting delay and a recommendation for Elie to serve his five-month term at the Taft Correctional Institution in California (CI Taft), to allow for easier visitation by Elie’s family. That family includes his wife, former Playmate model Destiny Davis.
The latest order and recommendation was also forwarded to US marshals who assist in the transfer and placement of prisoners.
Elie, who has emerged on Twitter under his “@BlackFridayChad” handle and has offered interesting tales from behind the scenes of the online poker processing world and 2011’s Black Friday, has noted the relative harshness of the MDC Brooklyn facility.
Elie posted, “The Judge in my case postponed my reporting date to end of January. He does not want me in Maximum Security Prison.” The statement isn’t technically correct, but does attest to MDC Brooklyn’s reputation as a violent warehouse for federal prisoners of all types, including gangs, drugs and other violent crimes.
Many of the prisoners referred to by Elie in other Twitter posts are part of the Brooklyn facility’s larger purpose, in which it serves as a gateway and transition hub wherein prisoners facing more severe sentences are housed temporarily before being shipped to other prisons.
Elie has also paid a $500k fine and surrendered his claims and ownership interests in other assets seized as part of the Black Friday crackdown. The five-month sentence is slightly more lenient than the 6- to 12-month deal originally agreed to between Elie’s lawyer, Barry H. Berke, and federal prosecutors, and takes into account a complex and often conflicting accounting of the factors involved in Elie’s sentencing.