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$2.7 million

July 13, 2015

The things Atlantic City casinos have to deal with. The state has indicted a North Carolina man who came to gamble at a Borgata Casino with millions of dollars in counterfeit poker chips.

Christian Lusardi, 43, of Fayetteville, NC, was caught out after Harrah’s Casino Hotel discovered a leak in its sewer pipes and found that $2.7 million in counterfeit chips had been flushed down the toilet.

The Borgata had to shut down its Winter Poker Open Tournament after only three days -- it had been scheduled to run for three weeks -- after an audit discovered that 160 $5,000 counterfeit chips had already been put in play. The Division of Gaming Enforcement ordered the Borgata to distribute the prize funds and refund entry fees.

Allegedly, Lusardi ordered the phony poker chips over the Internet from a manufacturer in China and affixed the counterfeit Borgata logo stickers to them. There was no word as to why the chips were flushed down the toilet at Harrah’s, as well as at the Borgata. (A total in $3.6 million in phony chips was recovered.)

If convicted, Lusardi faces up to 10 years in prison for second-degree trademark counterfeiting, second-degree theft by deception, and third-degree criminal mischief.

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