Poker Chip Counterfeiter Released from Prison After Serving Eight Months
Whatever luck Lugardi, age 42, may or may not have had at the poker tables is dwarfed by his incredible luck when it comes to the prison system.
Lugardi was originally sentenced to serve three to five years on two counts of copyright infringement and trafficking in counterfeit labels. Though the sentences were to be served concurrently, Lugardi still walked out of the clink after serving less than a year.
He also caught a break in avoiding any publicity when he was released last July as the poker media is only recently caught wind of the news through a posting on PokerFraudAlert.
Unfortunately, this was not Lugardi’s first brush with the law. The hapless criminal had previous run-ins involving the importation of counterfeit DVDs from China. He also faced counterfeiting charges for making fake Borgata chips.
Lugardi’s most recent legal troubles stemmed from his actions during the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open $2 Million Guarantee in Atlantic City. Casino officials very quickly figured out that someone had used fake chips during the tournament and cancelled the tournament. Shortly after, New Jersey law enforcement officials issued a warrant for Lugardi’s arrest.
One week later, Lugardi was arrested at an Atlantic City motel. During that same period, plumbers at the Atlantic City Harrah’s removed $2.6 million worth of Lugardi’s counterfeit chips from a clogged sewer line.
The incident, known as Chipgate in poker circles, was a brazen attempt to cheat the system that is certain to earn Lugardi both lifetime notoriety, and a lifetime ban from any credible casino.