Wednesday, December 21, 2011

First Major Conviction in Online Poker Cheat Fraud Case! I Hardly Believe It!!!

But is has happened! And lots of you have been waiting years for this news!

Source: Part Time Poker

Brent Beckley, one of the pioneers of Absolute Poker, pleaded guilty today in federal court. U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis accepted the guilty plea in a Manhattan federal court. Beckley pleaded guilty to bank fraud, wire fraud and violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The UIGEA, passed in 2006, makes it illegal for banks to process payments for illegal online gambling businesses that accept players from the U.S.

Beckley became the first executive of an online poker room related to the Black Friday indictments to plead guilty. Beckley’s half brother Scott Tom was also indicted on Black Friday. Scott Tom is believed to have been the mastermind behind the Absolute Poker insider cheating scandal. Tom’s whereabouts are unknown.

Beckley worked in the security department at Cereus, which consisted of Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet. His job also involved setting up payment processors for the online poker room. Beckley was accused of creating bogus companies in an attempt to get U.S. banks to process payments to Absolute Poker, payments the banks would otherwise have declined.

PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker banned U.S. players within 24 hours of the Black Friday indictments being unsealed. The Cereus Network continued to allow U.S. players to play for real money. These players just did not have access to the cashier section. After reaching a settlement with U.S. authorities, players in the U.S. were blocked and could not even see the real money tables in the software’s lobby.

Players in the U.S. have not received any payments since Black Friday. Players in the rest of the world have receive small payouts. Typically these payouts were made once a month and the maximum payout was $1000. In October, Cereus announced that they would go into liquidation. This was after payments to players outside of the U.S. stopped. It is estimated that players from around the world could be owed as much as $50 million.

My take: Boy! This has been a long time coming coming! Finally someone pleads guilty and faces real prison time in connection with online poker cheating and fraud. You gotta love this! Especially if you were a victim to one of these malicious online poker cheat scams.