Douglas Rennick informed a federal court on May 12th, 2010 that he had a business that transferred cash to offshore gaming locations to American gamers within the southern area of New York. Rennick pleaded guilty to a single count of processing offshore wagers.
Rennick, who is a Canadian, was allegedly responsible for several web poker payment processing organizations, will be formally sentenced on September 15th, 2010. Rennick's lawyer said that his plea bargain means that Rennick will likely face 6 to 12 months in prison as well as forfeiture of $17.1 million dollars.
That is a far cry from what he could have face if he had not made the guilty plea and was judged guilty of all the charges he faced in the court. Aside from just being charged with processing offshore wagers, he was indicted in August 2009 for bank fraud, gambling and money laundering conspiracy.
If Rennick was convicted of all the charges, he could have faced up to fifty-five years in prison. Rennick allegedly have been managing different shell companies that were processing cash to and from various gaming companies-including Alenis Limited, My ATM Online, Account Services Corporation, KJB Financial Corporation, Account Services Corporation and Check Payment Financial Co., some names that online poker enthusiasts might known from their check payments.
Several poker pros and individuals in the gaming industry have criticized the indictment, calling it unfair. The gambling lawsuit that Rennick have faced was the least serious of the three. Most of serious consequences that he could have faced are from the money laundering and bank fraud charges, which he did not admit on his plea bargain.
The indictment stated that Rennick did not disclose to the Washington Mutual Bank that KJB Financial Corporation would process online gaming companies' payments. Instead, he falsely represented that his company would issue check payments for affiliate checks, refunds, sponsorship checks, rebates and minor payroll.
The Southern District of New York has a long history of focusing on online poker cases. The district has confiscated more than thirty-four million dollars in online poker funds in June 2009 that were due to be given out to poker players on different online poker sites like Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and others.
July 19, 2010
Reported by Brian Nelson