Brent Beckley has received a 14 month sentence for his role in the illegal gambling charges that were brought in the Black Friday indictments.
Brent Beckley became only the second person listed in Black Friday indictments to receive a prison term when U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplin sentenced him to 14 months jail time on Monday “to make clear that the government of the United States means business in these types of cases.”
Beckley, who could have been facing 30 years for charges including conspiracy to commit bank fraud, operation of an illegal gambling business and conspiring to launder money got off light in many people´s eyes by being one of the first Black Friday indictees to come forward and plead guilty to the charges made against him.
While other co-founder, Scott Tom, and a number of Absolute Poker representatives remain fugitives from the law, Beckley admitted arranging
for the money received from U.S. gamblers to be disguised as payments to hundreds of non-existent online merchants purporting to sell merchandise such as jewellery and golf balls.
Lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice had a role in Beckley´s light sentence – detailing to Judge Kaplin how Beckley had been cooperative and that no financial institutions had been harmed by his actions. However, in addition to the 14 month jail sentence, Beckley also had to forfeit $300,000 of personal assets and pay a $30,000 fine.
Several other players in the money laundering swindle may not get such lenient sentences. Ira Rubin – Beckley´s second-in-command who also took a plea bargain in the hope of a reduced sentence – was arrested in Guatemala last year trying to leave the country and escape to Thailand. Rubin has a rap sheet as long as his arm which includes previous convictions for telemarketing scams and third-party payment processing fraud.
Ryan Lang and Bradley Frenzen have been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice of obtaining accounts at U. S. banks for the three poker sites included in the Black Friday indictments, lying about the nature of the financial transactions and covering up the lies by creating “phony” corporations and websites. Each could face up to 30 years behind bars and, as yet, no recommendations of a lesser sentence have been proposed by the DoJ.
Sentencing hearings are scheduled for September and, if Judge Kaplin is serious in his
the United States means business statement above, all three could have plenty of time to consider the damage they did to online poker in the States.