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Black Friday Dominos Start Falling

Brent Beckley, who processed payments for the online poker site Absolute Poker, took a deal offered by prosecutors recently to end his role in the infamous April 15 Black Friday indictments brought by the U.S. Justice Department against three online poker sites and related payment processors and banks. Beckley is the stepbrother of Scott Tom, the co-founder of Absolute Poker who was also indicted in the April dragnet. Before a judge in Manhattan in December, Beckley admitted to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud as well as to violate the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Beckley will be sentenced in April to a term of 12 to 18 months in prison and will be required to forfeit 0,000.

Beckley’s plea follows that of Bradley Franzen, another payment processor affiliated with the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker websites, also targets of the Black Friday indictments. Ira Rubin, another Absolute processor, is also expected to enter a plea bargain in upcoming weeks.

Pre-trial hearings have been held for defendants John Campos, a Utah bank executive, and Chad Elie, another payment processor indicted with Franzen and Rubin. A trial for the two is scheduled to start on March 12.

The location and legal status of the more notorious individuals indicted in the case, including PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg and Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar, remains unknown.

In October, a second indictment claiming UIGEA violations was handed down by federal prosecutors in Baltimore. No action or plea bargains have yet been revealed under those charges.