Brent Beckley, the co-founder and director of payment processing at Absolute Poker, was sentenced to fourteen months in federal prison according to CalvinAyre.com. Beckley was sentenced today after he pled guilty this past December to his part in the “Black Friday” indictments.
Beckley plead guilty to wire fraud and conspiring to commit bank fraud and the sentence given to Beckley was shorter than the maximum that could have been given. Beckley could have earned up to 18 months in prison for his role in the Black Friday case.
Prosecutors in the case recommended the 12 to 18 month sentencing guideline and Judge Lewis Kaplan suggested that he was considering the high end but it seems he agreed with prosecutors that there was “no evidence that Beckley intended to cause ultimate financial losses to banks, and no banks have identified for the Government actual losses attributable to Absolute Poker processing.”
Reuters has reported that the Judge spoke to Beckley directly, stating the sentence has to make it clear that the US government means business in this type of case. Beckley responded to the judge’s comments by stating that he had fooled himself into believing that what he was doing was ok.
Beckley’s sentencing now makes him the second person that Kaplan has sentenced in the Black Friday case. Back in June, Kaplan sent SunFirst Bank VP John Campos to three months in prison for processing payments for online poker sites. Other payment processers, Bradley Franzen, Ryan Lang, Ira Rubin and Chad Elie, all pled guilty as well to similar charges and they are awaiting their sentencing trial.
Lang will be sentenced this September while Elie is scheduled to head back to court in October. Franzen and Rubin’s sentencing have yet to be announced and it has been suggested that their sentence may be contingent on how many convictions are made from the information they have provided prosecutors in the case.
Other figures in the case have also been to court. Ray Bitar, the CEO of Full Tilt Poker is now out on bail after he plead not guilty to his Black Friday related charges. Bitar returned to the US to surrender to authorize just a few days ago. There are still four people involved in the case that have yet to turn themselves in. Scott Tom, the co-founder of Absolute Poker and the half brother of Beckley, Nelson Burtnick, of Full Tilt Poker, Paul Tate and Isai Scheinberg of PokerStars have yet to come in.
Scheinberg is mentioned in another article at 4Flush, which speaks about the DOJ and how they filed a fugitive disentitlement motion against PokerStars and it alleges that Scheinberg has been avoiding his return the US so he can avoid jail time. If the motion made by the DOJ is granted than it would stop the motion that PokerStars filed to dismiss the civil charges they face. Leonard B. Sand is the judge in the civil portion of the case and he has yet to make a decision on the Department of Justice motion.
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