FORMER POKERSTARS PAYMASTER SENTENCED (Update)
Paul Tate to forfeit $119,000, but avoids US jail.
Former Pokerstars payment processing exec Paul Tate (43), a Brit domiciled on the Isle of Man who voluntarily presented himself in the US to face charges associated with Pokerstars operations in the States prior to its 2011 exit, has been sentenced.
Applauding Tates decision to face the US music in court, Manhattan US District Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered Tate to forfeit $119,000 but decided against imposing any jail-time, according to reports from the Reuters news agency.
Tate pleaded guilty to participating in the operation of an illegal gambling business in October and could have faced a five-year jail term.
Passing sentence, Judge Kaplan said:
"Given that you couldn’t be extradited for this, you deserve a world of credit for coming to face the music."
Tate apologized for his previous conduct and expressed regret at the choices he had made in the past.
He was originally indicted along with 10 others in April 2011 following a US Justice Department crackdown on online poker operators serving players in the United States. The crackdown effectively ended what the Justice Department claimed was illegal activity for companies like Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and PokerStars.
Federal prosecutors alleged that the companies misled US banks into processing billions of dollars of illegal Internet gambling proceeds through shell companies that appeared legitimate.
Following the crackdown the Isle of Man-based Pokerstars agreed a $731 million settlement with US authorities which included $547 million to reimburse U.S. customers of Full Tilt Poker, which was coming under PokerStars control.
Tate worked for PokerStars until 2014, when it was acquired in a multi-billion dollar deal by Canada-based Amaya Inc.
The case against Tate and his 10 co-defendants is titled U.S. v. Tzvetkoff et al, and is filed with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
The Tzvetkoff reference originated with the arrest of Daniel Kim Tzvetkoff, the founder of Intabill, an Australia-based payment processor implicated in the online poker clampdown.
So far 10 defendants have pleaded guilty in the case, with charges still pending against Isai Scheinberg, the original founder and previous owner of Pokerstars, who resides outside the USA.