Posted 6/3/11 :
Have the feds got the wrong man?
Among the most recent indictments unsealed by federal enforcement agencies is one naming Canadian software specialist David Parchomchuk, and it could be either a wrongful prosecution or a new direction for US law actions against online gambling.
Parchomchuk, of British Columbia, has hired a top lawyer to defend himself against US Attorney and Homeland Security Investigations accusations that he is involved in the ownership of ThrillX Systems, a company named in the indictments as operating an illegal internet betting business.
The software provider claims that consulting on software solutions is the extent of his involvement with ThrillX, raising the question of either a mistaken charge…or the enforcement agencies extending their reach to pursue businesses and individuals beyond the current cash processor or operator range.
The latter clearly has serious implications.
Jeff Ifrah, a respected Washington DC lawyer with expert knowledge of the industry, has been engaged by Parchomchuk and claims that his client is in no way recorded as being part of the ownership structure of ThrillX, or its related operations BetEd or OneUpNetworks.
“By indicting a software programmer, Maryland has expanded the definition of who is “in the business of” gambling," Ifrah noted this week.
“Traditionally only operators, processors and their owner/directors have been included in this definition.”
Parchomchuk claimed through a representative that he had no reason to believe he could be charged for merely providing technical consulting services to another company.
"As a husband and father I would not have jeopardized my livelihood, or the security of my family,” he asserted.
This is a far cry from the claims made in the indictment, which are that ThrillX, Parchomchuk and a second individual, Darren Wright, were engaged in money laundering and that the two men “did knowingly and unlawfully conduct, finance, manage, supervise, direct, and own all or part of an illegal gambling business…”
The case involves the use by federal investigators of a phony payment system titled Linwood Payment Systems, which lured in firms like ThrillX seeking payment options for online players
Ifrah says that as yet no date has been set for the trial of Parchomchuk, whom he is representing as an individual distinct from the other Canadian named in the federal indictment, Darren Wright.