Online poker “payment processor” pleads guilty in gambling case

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Online poker "payment processor" admits U.S. 26 sentencing if Franzen cooperates fully.

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The 41-year-old Chicago man also signed a cooperation agreement, agreeing to testify if necessary at any trial to result from a government prosecution that has already caused the three largest online poker companies to shut down their U.S.

(CBS/AP) NEW YORK – Bradley Franzen pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges Monday, admitting that he played as a “payment processor” by helping Internet poker companies find banks to process millions in gambling proceeds even though he knew it was illegal.

Franzen admitted he illegally helped link gambling companies with banks by using shell companies and phony websites.

. He pleaded guilty in U.S. Internet gambling by PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker. He said he began doing so after he was first contacted in 2009 at his Costa Rica home by an Internet poker company owner who wanted to process checks online but knew that banks were not doing so and were not permitted to accept the proceeds of Internet gambling.

The charges carry a potential prison term of up to 30 years but the plea agreement calls for prosecutors to recommend leniency at an Aug. charges” height=”150″ width=”270″ class=” lazyload” data-srcset=”http://cbsnews1.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2011/04/15/b568db5c-a644-11e2-a3f0-029118418759/thumbnail/270×150/134e192bf33f9b459fadf86e86d0d600/online-gambling_110415.jpg 1x, http://cbsnews1.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2011/04/15/b568db5c-a644-11e2-a3f0-029118418759/thumbnail/540×300/a86724a737be5fb3cf57d4a6acdfe0b7/online-gambling_110415.jpg 2x” srcset=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAI=”/>

CBS/AP

Franzen was one of 11 people charged last month in the probe. Officials say the poker companies obtained about $3 billion illegally by letting people in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, accepting funds in connection with illegal gambling and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The prosecution has resulted in the shutting down of U.S. gamble on their websites.

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