Nelson Burtnick Pleads Guilty in Online Poker Case

Nelson Burtnick is the former director of payment processing for online poker room, Full Tilt Poker, was one of almost a dozen people who were served charges last April as part of Black Friday. Burtnick has now pled guilty to conspiracy which included allegations of money laundering, as well as two counts of accepting funds in connection with unlawful online gambling. Burtnick faces up to five years in prison for each charge, which would equal 15 years behind bars.

Burtnick was accused of scheming to conceal payments to avoid laws in the United States against online gambling. The former Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars payment processor admitted his guilt today in court. Burtnick stated that he and other people from both companies used a third party payment processor to disguise payments so the United States banks would process the transactions.

The former payment processor, a Canadian Citizen, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein of NY that banks in the US would not have processed payments for Full Tilt, which was based in Ireland, if they had known the transactions were illegal.

Burtnick stated: “We had to do this type of deception to enable U.S. poker players to load their accounts. I knew what I did was wrong.”  Burtnick also admitted to using the scheme to deceive banks while he was working at PokerStars, and then carried the scheme over to Full Tilt Poker.

Prosecutors in the case stated that billions of dollars in payments from gamblers in the United States were disguised as payments to nonexistent online merchants. The disguises covered a wide variety of products from flowers, jewelry, golf balls and more. Kelly Currie served as the lawyer for Burtnick and declined to comment on the Burtnick’s plea of not guilty after she left the courtroom.

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