Absolute Poker Founder Pleads Guilty

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2011. December 21.
Co-founder of <em>Absolute Poker</em>, <strong>Brent Beckley </strong>pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court acknowledging that <em>Absolute Poker </em>knowingly cheated American banks to facilitate illegal online gambling transactions.
FBI actions on Black Friday
FBI actions on Black Friday

As we wrote on 15 April, FBI seized major online poker sites including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, UB.com and Absolute Poker. 11 defendants (Isai Scheinberg, Raymond Bitar, Scott Tom, Brent Beckley, Nelson Burtnick, Paul Tate, Ryan Lang, Bradley Franzen, Ira Rubin, Chad Elie and John Campos) were charged with bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses. Brent Beckley, co-founder of Absolute Poker came to be the first executive of a poker room to plead guilty in front of a federal judge, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis. He agreed to having committed bank fraud, wire fraud and violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), reportedly telling the judge, "I knew it was illegal to deceive the banks in this way." He added that he started his illegal activities in 2006 and continued until they were arrested in April 2011. He struck a plea agreement, which reduces his time in prison from the maximum of 30 years to just 12-18 months.

Beckley's brother and associate Scott Tom was also convicted, but his whereabouts are currently unknown. However, his other associate Ira Rubin, a payment processor executive is also rumored to strike a similar plea agreement in the coming days.

Absolute Poker
and its fellow Cereus Network room UB Poker left the United States market and banned the U.S. players, but to this day haven't repaid their money. The network submitted a plan to facilitate the repayment of the players to the United States Department of Justice, but it seems without much success.

The Cereus Network used to be one of the major poker networks, however, since the Black Friday they have lost almost all their players, the total loss of traffic since last year is 99%.

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