Nelson Burtnick, a 41 year-old Canadian citizen was head of payment processing for Full Tilt Poker pleaded guilty in New York in front of a U.S. magistrate to taking part in a scheme to deceive banks to handle online gambling payment transactions, thereby, violating U.S. laws.
Burtnick admitted committing the crimes while working at both PokerStars and later at Full Tilt. He told the judge that U.S. banks would have refused to process payments for Full Tilt Poker who were based out of Ireland.
We had to do this type of deception to enable U.S. poker players to load their accounts” with funds, Burtnick told the judge. “I know that what I did was wrong.”
After the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was implemented in 2006, banks were barred from processing payments to offshore gaming sites. PokerStars, Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and other gambling websites found ways to circumvent the ban.
Burtnick’s sentencing hearing is set for Dec. 19. The charges carry a potential penalty of up to 15 years in prison.