Poker Chips And Clogged Pipes, The Saga Of Christian Lusardi
A 43-year-old Fayetteville man may go down as one of the most entertaining forgers in North Carolina history. The saga of Christian Lusardi came to an end Thursday.
Late last year, Lusardi was running a thriving business. He had more than $1 million in his paypall account to prove it. And, as the feds would discover in a springtime raid, a house filled with 35,000 counterfeit DVDs.
But before his house was raided, Lusardi, it seems, wanted to make a name for himself in the exciting world of professional poker. He headed up to Atlantic City for the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open. And as an illegal craftsman would, he brought more than $2 million in counterfeit poker chips along for the trip.
But it didn’t take long for the casino to realize something was up. It suspended the tournament and Lusardi tried to get rid of the evidence by flushing 553 fake chips down his hotel room toilet. The chips clogged the pipes and caused a major leak. Lusardi was busted. He pleaded guilty to two charges and has now been sentenced to five years in prison.
In a press release, New Jersey’s acting attorney general says “Lusardi’s counterfeiting scheme sabotaged a major professional poker tournament at the Borgata, not to mention the plumbing at Harrah’s Casino Hotel.”
Lusardi will also pay $463,000 in restitution to the Borgata, and $9,500 to Harrah’s for the busted pipes. In March he was sentenced to another five-year term for all those fake DVD’s he’d been selling and ordered to pay a $1.1 million fine.