Black Friday Indicted Poker Exec Pleads Guilty

September 21, 2012

Former Full Tilt Poker payment processing director Nelson Burtnick pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of concealing online poker payment transfers in an effort to evade US anti-Internet gambling laws.

Burtnick was one of the 11 individuals indicted on Black Friday when the DoJ and FBI decided to take down the online poker industry in the US by seizing the domains of the three biggest online poker sites servicing US poker players.

Burtnick is a former head of payment processing at both Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. He admitted at Wednesday’s hearing that along with others, he used third-party payment processors at both companies to hide US online poker payments from banking institutions, so that the payments wouldn’t be red-flagged and would go through as non-gambling related transactions. Prosecutors say that billions of dollars were transferred from US gamblers and masked behind non-existing merchant transactions for such items as flowers, jewelry, golf balls, and other various merchandise.

After pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy with allegations of laundering money and two counts of receiving funds in connection with illegal online gambling, the Canadian now faces up to five years per charge in prison.

Quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Burtnick said, “I knew what I did was wrong.”


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