Douglas Rennick Pleads Guilty To Online Poker Money Laundering

Nearly a year on from being charged by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) of bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling, Canadian citizen Douglas Rennick has pleaded guilty to money laundering in a New York federal court.
When asked to describe his crime by U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein on May 11th, Douglas Rennick replied: “I had a business that transferred money from offshore gaming sites to American players within the Southern District of New York.”
Last August, the 35 year old Alberta man was accused of processing around $350 million for online gambling companies PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker over a two year period. He was also accused of providing false and misleading information to US banks so as to disguise the gambling related nature of the transactions, which would not have otherwise been authorised by the banks.
At the time Rennick was facing a potential 55 years in prison, $1.75 million in fines, as well as a massive forfeiture of $566 million for the litigy of crimes levelled against him. However, the reduced charges mean Rennick’s lot has improved considerably and he has now agreed to forfeit $17.1 million and may now receive a reduced prison sentence of between 6 months and one year. Actual sentencing is expected to take place on September 15th.
After the more lenient than expected approach taken by the court, all indications are that the US Department of Justice might start targeting and reserving heavier penalties for the poker companies who seem to be flagrantly flouting the United State’s UIGEA bill of 2006. Every year around 2.5 million people wager around $30 billion on online poker sites in the US, with Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars receiving 70% or $1 billion of the total poker industry’s revenue.

Other news:   Multi-state online poker compact bill introduced in Pennsylvania

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