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Gaming Guru

Jeff German

Judge to decide on evidence in World Cup illegal betting case

19 December 2014

LAS VEGAS -- A weeklong hearing concluded Thursday into defense claims that FBI agents violated the constitutional rights of two defendants in a World Cup betting scheme investigation.

Lawyers for wealthy Malaysian businessman Paul Phua and his son, Darren Phua, are seeking to get evidence seized in a July 9 raid at luxury Caesars Palace villas tossed out of court.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen said she would issue a written decision.

David Chesnoff and Thomas Goldstein contend agents conducted a warrantless search to gather evidence prior to the raid that violated their clients’ privacy and due process rights.

They also have criticized FBI agents for withholding information from a judge in a search warrant affidavit about the ruse they used to enter one of the villas to gather evidence days earlier.

Agents cut off Internet service inside the villa on Dec. 5 and then entered posing as computer technicians for a Caesars electronics contractor looking to fix the problem.

Federal prosecutors have alleged that Phua and his group made a $13 million profit in June and July accepting wagers on the World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil.

Five defendants pleaded guilty last week and were each sentenced to five years of probation with the condition they stay out of the United States during that period. The case against another defendant was dismissed.