The seventh defendant in the Black Friday saga has now struck a plea deal with the United States Department of Justice. On Wednesday, Nelson Burtnick pled guilty to conspiracy and gambling charges in the US District Court in Manhattan.
Burtnick was a former payment processor for both Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars in the past and told the magistrate that he disguised online poker payments from 2006 to 2011 to make them appear as legitimate transactions rather than online poker payments.
He also told the court that this was done because they were aware that US laws did not allow US banks to process gambling funds. These transactions ranged from “purchases” from various seemingly legitimate businesses.
As part of the plea deal, Burtnick must forfeit all money derived as part of the crime as well as any unpaid salary from both Full Tilt and PokerStars. Burtnick must also pay restitution in an amount not specified on Wednesday.
Also, Burtnick has agreed to fully cooperate with federal officials in their continued investigation and prosecution of the Black Friday defendants. If he fully cooperates, federal prosecutors have indicated that they would recommend leniency at his sentencing.
Burtnick is scheduled for sentencing on December 19th and is facing a maximum of 15 years in prison. Chances are that he will see somewhere between 6 months and 2 years for his crimes. Do not be surprised if he gets closer to two years considering he was one of the major online payment processors indicted.