Former Director of PokerStars Avoids Prison Time in Black Friday Poker Case

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Paul Tate is an individual from the United Kingdom who served as the Director of Payments for PokerStars in the past and was one individual of eleven who were indicted as part of Black Friday, a day known to the poker community having taken place on April, 15th 2011. The case is actually over five years old now and Tate just recently plead guilty in October and was sentenced this week having to forfeit cash, avoiding jail time.

Tate faced charges of money laundering, bank fraud and illegal online poker operations, as did the other individuals who were indicted in the case. After pleading guilty last month, Tate faced the possibility that he might have to spend as much as five years in prison. On Monday, United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Tate must forfeit $119,000. The judge gave Tate credit for appearing court instead of staying in the Isle of Man where would have been able to avoid extradition.

The case involved PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker where the operators were believed to have deceived banks into processing funds, money that came from illegal online gaming services, via non-trading shell companies that seemed to be legit. Black Friday changed the online poker industry in the United States for many years, with operators shutting down services and players left without access to funds or accounts.

In the more than five year time frame that the case has been ongoing, nine individuals have plead guilty of those who were indicted. Isai Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars, is one such individual who has yet to face charges. Scheinberg did return to the United States voluntarily but nothing has happened yet involving him and the case. In 2014, the founder of PokerStars sold the Rational Group to Amaya Gaming for a total of $4.9 billion.

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