Charles Oakley Hires Celeb Las Vegas Defense Attorney David Chesnoff, Sidesteps Felony from Cosmopolitan Cheating Charge

Posted on: August 8, 2018, 11:14h. 

Last updated on: August 8, 2018, 11:14h.

Former NBA star Charles Oakley has been fined $1,000 by a Las Vegas court after pleading no contest to a charge of disorderly conduct in relation to an alleged cheating incident at the Cosmopolitan last month. Oakley brought in high-powered defense team Chesnoff and Schonfeld to represent him for a slam-dunk outcome.

Charles Oakley casino cheating
Charles Oakley was arrested at the Cosmopolitan in July for allegedly cheating at Ultimate Texas Hold’em. The former New York Knicks star was initially facing up to six years in prison, but charges were reduced to a misdemeanor after he brought in hotshot defense counsel David Chesnoff. (Image: Slam)

Oakley was arrested on July 8 during a gambling session after his attempts at sleight of hand were caught by the eye-in-the-sky, according to court documents.

He was initially charged with committing a fraudulent act in a casino — a felony that carries between one and six years in prison — but Chesnoff cut a deal with prosecutors, resulting in the lesser misdemeanor charge.

How It Played Out

Oakley was playing Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, a table game version of the popular poker game that’s played against the dealer, where gamblers are dealt two cards and must make the best five-card poker hand using at least three of the five community cards.

It was originally reported by TMZ that Oakley had been playing blackjack. According to court documents seem by TMZ, Oakley cheated on three occasions during the session. On the first, the dealer won the hand with two-pair against Oakley’s pair of fours.

When he realized he had lost, the 6’ 8’’ former New York Knick surreptitiously clawed back a $100 chip from his bet, a technique known in the casino security business as “pinching.” Later on, when Oakley had three-of-a-kind, he twice secretly added chips to his bet, a technique known as “past-posting.”

According to TMZ, casino officials would not accept that Oakley was unaware of what he had done, because he had racked up 119 hours playing the game at the Cosmopolitan over several trips.

Legal Counsel to the Stars

Oakley’s represention by now-legendary defense attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld was his best move since the incident. The team are the go-to guys for celebrities who find themselves in trouble in Las Vegas. Over the years, they’ve represented everyone from Paris Hilton to Leonardo DiCaprio to Mike Tyson in a variety of legal pickles.

Mr. Oakley has pleaded no contest to the simple misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct which fully resolves this situation,” said Chesnoff and Schonfeld in an official statement issued after the felony charges were dropped. “He appreciates the professionalism of the District Attorney and the Cosmopolitan in resolving this event.”

In one of Chesnoff’s greatest coups, he represented Malaysian billionaire, high-stakes poker player, and junket operator Paul Phua in 2015, who was arrested by the FBI for allegedly masterminding a multimillion-dollar World Cup betting ring from three luxury villas at Caesars Palace. Chesnoff got every single piece of evidence tossed, eviscerating the prosecution’s case.

Oakley’s move saved him from any possible jail time, but definitely cost him a lot more than the $1,000 misdemeanor fine he paid the court. Chesnoff and Schonfeld’s services do not come cheap, but a legal website does note that there is a “free initial consultation,” so there’s that. Regardless, Oakley’s own net worth is listed at $52 million, so it was likely a no-harm, no-foul deal for the ex-sports star.