Bradley Franzen is the first of the 11 people indicted on April 15th, which those in the online poker industry dub Black Friday, to see U.S. court. Franzen is a resident of Illinois and Costa Rica and he admitted in federal court yesterday, he was a payment processor for PokerStars, Full Tilt and absolute poker. He further admitted he helped circumvent the laws that banned processing online gambling payments and helped deceive banks as to what the transactions were really for.
He pled guilty to criminal charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and operating an illegal gambling business which could see him face up to 30 years in jail. Franzen however agreed to a plea which is thought to have him testify at any trail that may come from the FBI indictments against the online poker sites in exchange for leniency in his sentencing.
According to a quote in the Washington Post Monday, Franzen told the federal court;
“To avoid bank restrictions, they [the poker companies] used shell companies and phony websites.”
He went on to admit that he helped these online poker companies establish these relationships between their businesses and the banks and he had helped to process millions of dollars. All total the federal prosecutors claim the $3 billion have been illegally processed.