Payment Processor With Connections to Bodog Pleads Guilty to Running Illegal Gambling Business
A former payment processor with ties to Bodog pleaded guilty last week on a count of “operating an illegal gambling business.” Don Hellinger, the publisher of Nylon, was indicted on February 10th on charges of conspiracy, operating an illegal gaming business, transmission of wagers and wagering information, operating an illegal money transmission business, and international money laundering.
Hellinger as well as Ronald Hellinger, Randy Trost, Jami Pearlman, Michele Quigley, and Michael Weisberg were accused of funneling more than $40 Million in funds “from foreign internet gambling business to bettors and others in the United States” via Payment Processing Center, LLC (PPC), a company that the individuals owned. According to allegations, this occurred from January 2005 through February 2006 and the company processed payments for Bodog.com, Betonusa.com, Sportsbook.com, and Betonsports.com.
The 55-year-old publisher was facing as much as 91 years in prison and $4.25 Million in fines prior to the plea deal. Now, he will be sentenced on May 29th and is looking at up to five years in prison and fines up to $250,000. Hellinger’s connection to online gambling processing was discovered during a grand jury investigation regarding a telemarketing scam where Payment Processing Center, LLC was accused of selling phony Medicare supplemental insurance in order to obtain bank account details.
Hellinger is not the only person to cut a plea bargain as others were scheduled to cut deals on Friday. Hellinger’s deal is another black eye for Bodog as the company was indicted last week by the Department of Justice in connection with their sports betting business. Bodog.com was also seized in connection with the indictment.