Further to the US Department of Justice indicting gambling operators and processors on what is known as Black Friday, a payment processor pleaded guilty to helping Poker Stars, Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker process gambling transactions in the US by coding the transactions as non-gambling.
The defendant, Bradley Franzen, who resides in Illinois and Costa Rica, pleaded guilty in the New York District Court in Manhattan to charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, bank fraud and operating illegal gambling business activity.
Bradley Franzen could face up to 30 years in prison but instead has pleaded for federal prosecutors to be lenient if he fully co-operates. This will involve the defendant testifying where necessary in the case against Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.
Franzen will be keen to testify in order to minimize his possible sentence as he was found guilty of creating fake companies and websites to disguise payments via a business called Green2YourGreen which apparently sold environmentally friendly household goods.
At the hearing which took place on the 23rd of May 2011, Franzen said “millions of dollars” was processed via his company. He also stated that online gambling sites “used shell companies and phony websites” to “avoid bank restrictions”.
It will be interesting to see how the online gambling companies react over the coming weeks – US facing operators including casinos which haven’t been targeted by the US Department of Justice must be running scared. Smaller US facing online gambling operators will go bust and some of the bigger companies will probably look to stop taking US players and bets in order to avoid having their domains and businesses confiscated.