Poker Processor Douglas Rennick Let Off With 6 Months ProbationSeptember 20, 2010 8:58 am
Canadian online gambling processor Douglas Rennick breathed a heavy sigh of relief on September 15th, after being handed a minimal six months probation sentence at the New York federal court.
Rennick initially faced a potential 55 years behind bars after being found guilty of illegally processing $350 million of gambling transactions for PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker between 2007 to 2009. As Rennick admitted to Judge Stein in court in May:
“I had a business that transferred money from offshore gaming sites to American players within the Southern District of New York.”
However, the especially lenient sentence of six months probation has come as quite a surprise to all those following the case and has given way to a great deal of speculation on what lies behind the token sentence.
Rennick agreeing to forfeit $17.1 million to federal agents would certainly of helped his cause and was probably part of an overall plea bargain. Speculation would also suggest he may have agreed to share his intricate knowledge of the business to help the FBI prosecute other similar cases.
Other more optimistic opinions have suggested that the Department Of Justice (DOJ) could have changed their traditional aggressive stance and were now taking a more tolerant approach to online gambling.
Either way, the 35 year old Rennick will now be sleeping a lot sounder knowing that his nightmare brush with the DOJ will soon be behind him and he still has his whole life ahead of him as a free man.
Another payment processor who would have read the news with interest is the Australian businessman Daniel Tzvetkoff, 27, who was secretly released from prison on a $1.5 million surety bail recently.
Tzvetkoff is currently accused of laundering $550 million in illegal gambling transactions but has now, according to veteran FBI agent Harold Copus; “..turned the corner, seen the light and is co-operating.” His high profile court trial is due to begin on June 2011.