Nelson Burtnick is the former director of payment processing for the online poker room Full Tilt Poker. Burtnick has now pleaded guilty to conspiracy which included allegations of money laundering, as well as two counts of accepting funds related to illegal online gambling. Burtnick faces up to five years in prison for each charge, which would equal 15 years behind bars.
Burtnick has been charged with conspiring to conceal payments in order to avoid laws in the United States against online gambling. The former Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars payment processor admitted his guilt in court today. Burtnick said he and others at both companies used a third-party payment processor to conceal payments for U.S. banks to process the transactions.
The former payment processor, a Canadian citizen, told US investigating judge Gabriel Gorenstein of NY that banks in the US would not have processed payments for Full Tilt, which was based in Ireland, if they had. knew the transactions were illegal.
Burtnick said, “We had to do this type of deception to allow American poker players to load their accounts. I knew what I had done was wrong. Burtnick also admitted to using the scheme to cheat the banks while working at PokerStars, then transferred the scheme to Full Tilt Poker.
Prosecutors in the case said billions of dollars in payments made by players in the United States were disguised as payments to non-existent online merchants. The disguises covered a wide variety of products such as flowers, jewelry, golf balls and more. Kelly Currie served as Burtnick’s attorney and declined to comment on Burtnick’s not guilty plea after leaving the courtroom.
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