Recent news reports reveal that Absolute Poker’s co-founder Brent Beckley has now been sentenced to serve a 14 month long prison term for his role in fraudulent online gambling.
Beckley was first indicted along with eleven others on the fateful day of April 15th which has now come to be called as Black Friday.
However, until that time period, Absolute Poker under Beckley and two other poker rooms – Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars – had continued to operate in blatant violation of the United States gambling laws in the form of the UIGEA.
The events of Black Friday saw all three poker rooms closed down until their US operations were completely shut off. Today, PokerStars has recovered from the events and is functioning in other countries, while Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker crumpled once it was found out that there were fraudulent dealings and money laundering going on.
Beckley had pleaded guilty to charges of “conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud” and was found guilty. By his own admission of guilt, he clearly stated that he knew it was wrong to have deceived the banks. “I knew that it was illegal to deceive the banks,” he stated.
According to the indictment, Beckley has apparently,
…worked with and directed other to apply incorrect transaction codes to…internet gambling transactions in order to disguise the nature of those transactions and create the false appearance that the transactions were completely unrelated to internet gambling.
It was also reported that Beckley has created fictitious companies to cover the poker proceeds. The indictment accused Beckley of having ,
at various times alleged in this Indictment…Brent Beckley…worked with other members of the conspiracy to create such fictitious companies – including phony online flower shops and pet supply stores – that established Visa and MasterCard merchant processing accounts with offshore banks.
Initially, it was planned that Beckley would be sentenced earlier this year; however Judge Kaplan who has been handling this case pushed it back thinking that he might need a harsher sentence for his crimes. Beckley was scheduled to get 12 to 18 months of a prison sentence for his crimes and is now getting a 14 month sentence as the Judge relented and felt that 14 months was well deserved and stated “…the sentence has to make clear that the government of the United States means business in these types of cases.”