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Internet poker owner handed 14-month prison term

Online GamblingOnline Gambling: Internet poker owner handed 14-month prison term

An owner of Absolute Poker, one of the three largest Internet poker companies, was sentenced to 14 months in prison on Monday after admitting to deceiving banks over the processing of gambling proceeds.

Brent Beckley, 32, joined Costa Rica-based Absolute Poker in 2003 and became its head of payment processing. Last December, he pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to conspiring to break U.S. laws against gambling on the Internet. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said Beckley deserved prison time despite his surrender and cooperation because "the sentence has to make clear that the government of the United States means business in these types of cases."

"I fooled myself into thinking that what I was doing was OK," Beckley told the judge.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged 11 people at the three biggest online poker companies: Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. The U.S. government also seized their Internet domain names.

The chief of Full Tilt Poker, Raymond Bitar, surrendered to U.S. authorities earlier this month and pleaded not guilty to charges of illegal gambling and that the online poker operator defrauded its players.

The case is USA v. Tzvetkoff et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 10-cr-0336.

Reuters

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7 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by Hermanus104.
Page 1 of 1

United States
Member #111446
May 25, 2011
6323 Posts
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Posted: July 23, 2012, 9:36 pm - IP Logged

He got off easy. 14 months is nothing. With all the potential felony charges he racked up, others might have gone to the big house for 40+ years.

    Avatar

    United States
    Member #78052
    August 6, 2009
    700 Posts
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    Posted: July 23, 2012, 11:29 pm - IP Logged

    THAT'S IT????   They didn't charge him with frauding the public on the site?   Mmmm.......Low ball of a sentence.  NO Fines??   No resitution? 

    What was happening on these sites is this:   They would be able to see each players hands, if someone made a large bet they would lose.  How?   Deal a 'death blow' to that hand or the player that is monitoring the game would get a higher hand.  Shame. 

    I read up on this online, the Feds must have gotten complaints about the site. 

    I'm still wondering what is going to happen to that Ferguson guy, he would be on TV Poker After Dark on NBC, the Feds blew the whole operation, and I read the complaint and charges on him.  Nasty guy cheating people.  Wondered why he wore a long haired wig and cowboy hat with dark glasses.  His mug shot showed him with short hair.  Ha! 

    So if anyone loss a bit of money on this or any other poker site, I'm sorry that we can't trust anyone when it comes to money.

    Life Is Wonderful If You Don't Weaken

      Avatar
      Kentucky
      United States
      Member #32652
      February 14, 2006
      5519 Posts
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      Posted: July 24, 2012, 10:22 am - IP Logged

      THAT'S IT????   They didn't charge him with frauding the public on the site?   Mmmm.......Low ball of a sentence.  NO Fines??   No resitution? 

      What was happening on these sites is this:   They would be able to see each players hands, if someone made a large bet they would lose.  How?   Deal a 'death blow' to that hand or the player that is monitoring the game would get a higher hand.  Shame. 

      I read up on this online, the Feds must have gotten complaints about the site. 

      I'm still wondering what is going to happen to that Ferguson guy, he would be on TV Poker After Dark on NBC, the Feds blew the whole operation, and I read the complaint and charges on him.  Nasty guy cheating people.  Wondered why he wore a long haired wig and cowboy hat with dark glasses.  His mug shot showed him with short hair.  Ha! 

      So if anyone loss a bit of money on this or any other poker site, I'm sorry that we can't trust anyone when it comes to money.

      Berkley admitted he knowingly broke the law when Absolute Poker disguised deposits and withdrawals to banks to facilitate gambling funds.

      Read more: http://www.pokernews.com/news/2012/07/absolute-poker-brent-beckley-14-month-prison-black-friday-13103.htm
      Beckley admitted he knowingly broke the law when Absolute Poker disguised deposits and withdrawals to banks to facilitate gambling funds.

      Read more: http://www.pokernews.com/news/2012/07/absolute-poker-brent-beckley-14-month-prison-black-friday-13103.htm
      Beckley admitted he knowingly broke the law when Absolute Poker disguised deposits and withdrawals to banks to facilitate gambling funds.

      Read more: http://www.pokernews.com/news/2012/07/absolute-poker-brent-beckley-14-month-prison-black-friday-13103.htm

      Beckley was charge with money laundering by disguising deposits and withdrawals to banks to facilitate gambling funds. It appears he wasn't involved with cheating the players. The people skimming money from player's funds will probably get the book thrown at them.

      disguised deposits and withdrawals to banks to facilitate gambling funds.

      Read more: http://www.pokernews.com/news/2012/07/absolute-poker-brent-beckley-14-month-prison-black-friday-13103.htm

      The Feds and of course the players learned about the skimming after Absolute Poker and Full Tilt were shut down. Neither site had enough funds to pay off their U.S. players. Pokerstars returned all the money to their U.S. players when the Feds gave them the green light a couple weeks after the shutdown because they weren't skimming.

      It's hard to say what will happen to Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer of Full Tilt, but they were company directors and could only legally distribute dividends from profits. There are other known poker players like Phil Ivey that benefited from the dividends but had no knowledge where the money came from. The CEO of Full Tilt, Ray Bitar will be stocking up on "soap on a rope" because it looks like he'll be doing some serious time.

      The sad part is all the Online poker sites were cash cows similar to the lotteries where they could just sit back and make lots of money getting a rake from their games. Absolute and Full Tilt were greedy and stupid believing the Feds would allow them to continue to skirt the law through money laundering, would never close the site, and would never have to settle with all their player accounts at the same time.

        LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
        British Columbia
        Canada
        Member #116105
        September 4, 2011
        3601 Posts
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        Posted: July 24, 2012, 12:54 pm - IP Logged

        make it 14 years Hit With Stick

        "You have to be in it to win it!"

          tntea's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg

          United States
          Member #5344
          June 30, 2004
          23622 Posts
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          Posted: July 26, 2012, 5:28 pm - IP Logged

          How is this any different from playing Lottery pick 3 and 4 online.. That site where people play these have casinos there for people to play... including poker...

          The site mentioned was using depositing methods to fool banks on what the withdrawal was really for...

          Just another reason not to get involved.    However, honestly, I miss playing online.

               OLD/Vtrac   Lottery Bible         Double Warnings      Thumbs Up TN F34/F44

            Avatar
            Kentucky
            United States
            Member #32652
            February 14, 2006
            5519 Posts
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            Posted: July 27, 2012, 10:42 am - IP Logged

            make it 14 years Hit With Stick

            There were over 1 million U.S. poker players; how many years in prison should they get?

              Hermanus104's avatar - 5027340606 1e360c8038_s.jpg
              Northern Virginia
              United States
              Member #83350
              December 5, 2009
              1229 Posts
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              Posted: August 16, 2012, 5:24 pm - IP Logged

              I am looking at this article and notice this:

              July 23, 2012 is a Monday. 14 months later (September 23, 2013) is also a Monday. There is no Monday the 23rd between these two dates. 

              If he was sent to jail on July 23, 2012, then he will be sent to jail on a Monday the 23rd and be released from jail on the next Monday the 23rd. 

              I just find that kind of interesting.

              Today's winning 3-ball is going to be a number between 000 and 999.

              In a lot of states, lotteries benefit education. That makes the REAL winners the only people who can't play!