Thursday, October 04, 2012

Full Tilt Poker Star Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud!


Nelson Burtnick, who was employed as the payment processing chief at Full Tilt Poker, the online poker giant that is now acquired by PokerStars, pleaded guilty of having taken part in a conspiracy to cheat banks and financial institutions into processing funds related to online poker gaming, in violation of US online poker laws.

It may be recalled that the US federal government had cracked down on major online poker rooms Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker, seized their domain names, and indicted key people associated with these online poker rooms of bank fraud, illegal gambling, and money laundering. This happened on April 15, 2011, a day commonly referred to within poker circles as the Black Friday of online poker. Subsequently, the US government and PokerStars signed a settlement deal, according to the terms of which PokerStars would refund Full Tilt Poker’s players and acquire the company and the US government would drop all charges against Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars.

A 41-year-old Canadian citizen, Burtnick told Judge Gabriel Gorenstein, US magistrate judge, that US banks would not have processed gambling related funds for Full Tilt Poker as it is illegal for them to do so. He admitted that he had cheated banks while working for Full Tilt Poker as well as PokerStars. He said, “We had to do this type of deception to enable US poker players to load their accounts. I know that what I did was wrong.”

Burtnick will be sentenced to 15 years in prison by US District Judge Lewis Kaplan; however, no sentencing date has been set as yet. Burtnick’s lawyer Kelly Currie refused to make any comment.

According to US prosecutors, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and PokerStars devised a number of ways to dodge the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 so that banks could be fooled into processing gambling related funds.

Preet Bharara, US attorney in Manhattan, the prosecutor in the case, who had filed a civil suit against Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker, and PokerStars, announced in July that PokerStars and the Department of Justice (DoJ) had signed a $731 million settlement agreement, as per the terms of which PokerStars would refund Full Tilt Poker’s ex players in the US and other parts of the world and acquire the brand.

PokerStars will directly refund Full Tilt Poker players in the rest of the world, while the DoJ will refund US players.

My Take: What else is going to be new with Full Tilt and the cheating, scamming and defrauding surrounding the site?

Pair of 3-Year Federal Sentences for Casino Cheating

First Case: Pastposting Roulette tables in Louisiana
A Texas man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the L'Auberge du Lac Casino in Lake Charles. A federal judge sentenced 34-year-old Charbel Tannous, of Katy, Texas, last week to 37 months in prison and ordered him to pay more than $900,000 in restitution.
Prosecutors say Tannous was the leader of a plot to rig roulette games at the casino by bribing two dealers to let him and another person place late bets at the wheel.

FBI agents seized $10,000 in cash and nearly $40,000 in cashier's checks when they arrested Tannous at a Houston airport before he could board a flight to Lebanon, which doesn't have an extradition agreement with the U.S.

My take: $900,000 in that little shithole casino! And to think that Darren Hoke, one of Willy Allison´s main World Game Protection boys, is the director of surveillance at the L'Auberge du Lac Casino makes you think again how bogus Allison´s World Game Protection Conference actually is! I mean how can it take almost a million bucks in damage before Hoke and his staff got wise to this???

Second Case: Another Tran Organization Conviction and Sentencing

A woman was sentenced in San Diego Friday to three years in federal prison for her role in a scheme to cheat casinos across the country out of millions of dollars.Van Thu Tran, 47 (member of Casino Cheats Hall of Fame), was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John Houston, who ordered her to pay $5.7 million in restitution and forfeit her interests in various assets, including jewelry and bank accounts.
Tran pleaded guilty in January 2011.

In her plea agreement, the defendant admitted that in approximately August 2002, she along with co-conspirators Phuong Quoc Truong, Tai Khiem Tran, and others, created a criminal enterprise defined as the Tran Organization, based in San Diego and elsewhere, for the purposes of participating in gambling cheats at casinos across the United States.

Van Thu Tran admitted that she and her co-conspirators unlawfully made up to $7 million cheating at cards.

The investigation of the Tran Organization led to the filing of three separate indictments in 2007, 2008 and 2009. A three-count indictment returned in May 2007 charged Thu Tran and 13 others with conspiracy to participate in the affairs of a racketeering enterprise and other counts.

According to court documents, the defendants and others executed a "false shuffle" cheating scheme at casinos in the United States and Canada during blackjack and mini-baccarat games. Members of the Tran Organization bribed casino card dealers and supervisors to perform false shuffles during the games, thereby creating "slugs" or groups of unshuffled cards, according to court documents. Organization members would then bet on the known order of cards when the "slug" appeared on the table. By doing so, members of the conspiracy repeatedly won thousands of dollars during card games, including several hundred thousand dollars on one occasion, authorities said.

Court documents show that members of the Tran Organization used sophisticated mechanisms for tracking the order of cards during games, including hidden transmitter devices and specially created software that would predict the order in which cards would reappear during blackjack games.

To date, 42 defendants have pleaded guilty in the card-cheating conspiracy.

My take: The Tran bowling pins keep on falling!