The second in a line of high profile indictments against executives behind the triumvirate of U.S. friendly poker rooms taken down by the FBI earlier this year – aka Black Friday – has entered a guilty plea in a Manhattan U.S. District Courtroom.
Brent Buckley, who was identified as the co-founder of AbsolutePoker.com, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and accepting funds in connection with unlawful online gambling and money laundering. In a deal that gives Buckley no more than 1.5 years in prison, Buckley admitted he was aware of his wrongdoing, stating on record that he began illegally processing funds for American bettors in the Fall of 2006, continuing through early 2011.
Referred to as the Payments Director at AbsolutePoker, Buckley helped enact an elaborate scheme that deceived banks and payment processors from knowing the true nature of billions in online gambling transactions made through a multitude of payment processors.
Deemed illegal under the 2005 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, receiving funds for online gambling transactions is punishable by up to five years in prison. While it can be said that Buckley would be getting a generous plea deal if he only had to serve 1 year in prison, it remains to be seen just how harsh sentencing would truly have been under the UIGEA, considering what some critics say does not accurately define the key term “illegal online gambling transactions”.
The bottom line is that online poker is illegal in all 50 State’s, and that Absolute Poker was unquestionably accepting payments from U.S. citizens with the sole intention to play poker on the internet. Nevermind the fact that AbsolutePoker was at the heart of one of the greatest online poker cheating scandals in history – it’s most important to ensure someone goes to jail for simply facilitating a game of poker, is it not?