Judge Questions Prosecutors Motive in Campos Plea Deal
After news broke yesterday that an agreement between federal prosecutors and John Campos—the final payment processor named in the Black Friday indictments to enter into a plea deal—carried only a single misdemeanor charge for the Utah banker, US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan insisted that prosecutors justify their leniency in writing.
Knowing that Campos admitted that the bank for which he was vice chairman of the board of directors and part owner processed over $200m in transactions related to online gambling Kaplan asked, “You’re basically walking away from the prosecution?”
In defense of seeking a lesser charge and avoiding a trial for which they had prepared for nearly a year, prosecutors claimed that they were concerned that a jury may “have a problem” after learning that Campos received legal advice that suggested processing the transactions for online gambling sites may not be illegal. Prosecutors also reasoned that Campos could receive a similar sentence with the misdemeanor change as he could with a single felony charge.
The final decision on whether to accept the plea deal resides with Judge Kaplan. He is scheduled to announce his decision at the sentencing hearing on June 27.