Lawyers for Paul Phua Claim FBI Tactics Unlawful

Lawyers for Paul Phua Claim FBI Tactics Unlawful

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Businessman and high stakes poker player, Paul Phua, is claiming that his 4th Amendment rights (a US law which prohibits unlawful searches of someone's property without probable cause) were violated this summer.

Having been arrested for allegedly running a complex betting ring from his hotel room inside Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Phua and his legal team have based his defence on the supposed illegal way in which the FBI carried out the arrest.

According to documents from the case, members of the FBI worked with Caesars to infiltrate Phua's suite and gather evidence. Initially officers posed as computer delivery men who took some equipment to the room. However, after being denied access to "check if the computers were connected", the agents had to change their tact.

Sometime later the agents were allowed to cut the internet access to Phua's suite before knocking on the door and asking to be let in. Once inside, the agents claimed to be fixing the internet issue; but, in reality they were gathering evidence to arrest the syndicate of gamblers.

However, according to Phua's defence, the search warrant the federal agents obtained from court following their secret reconnaissance mission wouldn't have been granted had they explained that they didn't see anything relating to gambling activity.

Moreover, the process of disconnecting someone's internet in order to enter their premises and carry out a search is not only illegal but one that could set a disturbing precedent.

"If this Court authorizes this duplicity, the government will be free to employ similar schemes in virtually every context to enter the homes of perfectly innocent people. Agents will frequently have no incentive to follow the warrant procedure required by the Constitution," said defence lawyers assessing the case.
With this defence in mind, Phua's legal team will be pushing for a dismissal when the trial goes to court in December, which could mean the multi-millionaire will get off on a technicality and avoid a prison sentence.

Tags: Paul Phua