01/17/2012 : Black Friday indictee Brent Buckley admits to knowing he was engaged in an illegal activity
Black Friday threw up another guilty plea Monday when Absolute Poker co-founder Brent Buckley (31) pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges, admitting that he knew he was breaking the law when he arranged for U.S. banks to process internet gambling financial transactions.
Appearing in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Buckley said he knew it was illegal to accept credit cards so that customers could gamble on the Internet, according to Associated Press reports.
His plea deal allows for a punishment of 12 to 18 months in jail, which will be decided at sentencing on April 19 this year.
Prosecutors said that Buckley was the director of payments at the online poker company, and charged that Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars tricked U.S. banks into processing billions of dollars of gambling transactions by disguising the money as payments to hundreds of non-existent online merchants purporting to sell merchandise such as jewellery and golf balls.
Buckley told the court that his unlawful activity began in the fall of 2006 (when the UIGEA was passed) and continued into the spring of 2011. In May, prosecutors announced that a deal had been reached with Absolute Poker to enable players in the United States to recover their money after the games were interrupted by the criminal prosecution.