Civil Liberties

Online Poker Pay Processor Pleads Guilty

Deceived banks into handling gambling transactions that were illegal under U.S. laws


Nelson Burtnick, the head of payment processing for poker website Full Tilt Poker, pleaded guilty to taking part in a scheme to deceive banks into handling Internet gambling transactions that violated U.S. laws.

Burtnick, 41, a Canadian citizen, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein in New York today that U.S. banks would have refused to process such payments for Ireland-based Full Tilt Poker had they known the transactions were illegal. Burtnick admitted committing the crimes while working at both Isle of Man-based PokerStars and later at Full Tilt.

"We had to do this type of deception to enable U.S. poker players to load their accounts" with funds, Burtnick told the magistrate. "I know that what I did was wrong."