After several months with little to no news on the whereabouts or standing of Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, Absolute Poker co-founder Brent Beckley made headlines in the mainstream press by turning himself in to authorities and pleading guilty to counts of conspiracy to violate the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.
The Wall Street Journal’s Chad Bray reported on the story early on Tuesday and states that Beckley, 31, could face up to a year and a half in prison as opposed to potentially 30 years, the possible maximum sentence for bank fraud charges. The story also reports that Beckley told the Manhattan federal presiding over the hearing, “I knew it was illegal to accept credit cards from players gambling on the Internet. I knew it was illegal to deceive banks in this way.”
Beckley was one of 11 people named in the original Black Friday indictment issued April 15th of this year. He is one of six online poker operators named in the case. While most of the five payment processors named in the indictment have already appeared in court, Beckley is the first operator to enter a plea and the second of the Black Friday group to admit guilt.
Payment processor Bradley Franzen plead guilty to charges back in May, while payment processor Chad Elie and SunFirst Bank Vice Chairman John Campos are both disputing the charges, asserting that poker is a game of skill and not covered by the UIGEA as a result. Payment processor Ira Rubin was arrested shortly after the indictment was issued. He was denied bail and remains in custody. According to the indictment, Beckley hired Rubin to process payments from 2008 to as recently as 2011.
BLUFF will have more on this story as it develops, so keep checking in for updates throughout the day.
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