BREAKING LAS VEGAS – IN COURT
by LV Tournament Pro
LV Tournament Pro is the pseudonym of a skilled advantage blackjack player and an experienced tournament player who has won over $400,000 playing blackjack tournaments. He recently competed in the World Series of Blackjack 2005 and he also finished first in a monthly qualifier in the Las Vegas Hilton’s Million Dollar Blackjack Tournament. His peers consider him to be one of the strongest blackjack tournament players.
Las Vegas—June 17, 2005. Defense Attorney Erika Pike Turner is sobbing before the jury, begging them not to financially annihilate her client, Griffin Investigations. A week earlier, the six men and two women found Griffin guilty of maliciously libeling two professional gamblers, Mike Russo and James Grosjean, awarding the players $25,000 each in damages. Now the jury is determining the additional amount needed to punish Griffin and deter them and similar companies from harassing professional players, as they have for several decades, by distributing sometimes false information to casinos and law enforcement agencies about them.
Turner’s best defense at this point is to claim Griffin is broke and can’t afford to pay much. Documents provided to the court claim that Griffin’s income for 2004 was $650,732, but that after paying nearly 60% of that in salaries to its six employees (two of whom are the co-owners, Beverly and Bob Griffin, now divorced), and paying various other expenses, the company had a loss of $144,936.
Griffin refuses to provide supporting documents to verify its income claims, but Beverly Griffin testifies that the company has 113 subscribers to its database. For a company with a mere six employees, only two of them full-time "investigators," operating out of a 512-square-foot cabana behind Beverly Griffin’s house, whose service is to run a Web site (!) and cash the subscription checks they receive mostly from casinos, their claim of a six-figure annual loss can only be described as "creative accounting." Nevertheless, the jury was worried about putting them out of business so they decided that an additional $25,000 is all that Griffin can stomach. Earlier in the litigation, Griffin was fined $6,500 by a judge for evading discovery because they had failed to provide original copies of documents that had clearly been altered before being submitted to the plaintiffs.
This is not the first time that Griffin Investigations has been sued. Over twenty years ago, the notorious card counter Ken Uston sued Griffin. Since then, there have probably been ten or more lawsuits but none of them resulted in a successful jury verdict and substantial award for the players. So why was this lawsuit different?...
Legal Disclaimer (it's juicy stuff folks... you gotta read this article!): The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view’s and opinion’s of the editors and publishers of the Blackjack Insider Newsletter.
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