Douglas Rennick (35), a Canadian man charged with conspiracy and bank fraud has pleaded guilty to a single count of processing offshore bets of U.S. citizens. Rennick was indicted in August last year on allegations that he laundering $350 million for foreign Internet gambling companies. He entered his guilty plea Tuesday in federal court in New York, reports Reuters and the Bloomberg business news service.
Rennick's legal representative, Michael Pancer, said in court that his client agreed to forfeit $17.1 million and could face a prison term of six to 12 months when finally sentenced on September 15, 2010.
Asked by U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein to describe his crime, Rennick responded, "I had a business that transferred money from offshore gaming sites to American players within the Southern District of New York."
Manhattan federal prosecutors charged that Rennick transferred money from a Cyprus bank to U.S. accounts to pay Americans who wanted to cash out their gambling winnings from 2007 through June of last year.
Rennick and his co-conspirators were accused of providing false and misleading information to U.S. banks about the nature of payments being processed by companies under Rennick's control, prosecutors said in the indictment.
It is alleged that Rennick and his co-conspirators told U.S. banks that the accounts would be used for rebate checks, refund checks, payroll processing and other legal purposes, the government said. Instead, he laundered the money for Internet-gambling companies that offered poker, blackjack, slots and other games, prosecutors said in the indictment.
Rennick operated through companies he controlled including My ATM Online, KJB Financial Corp., Account Services Corp. and Check Payment Financial Co., prosecutors revealed after extensive investigations.
Prosecutors are seeking a total of $565.9 million in forfeitures in the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Arlo Devlin-Brown told Judge Stein, claiming that this was the amount earned as a result of the illegal conspiracies.
Rennick, who is a resident of British Columbia, Canada, was permitted to remain free on $400,000 personal recognizance bond, Judge Stein ruled.
Bloomberg's reports that in a related ruling, a federal appeals court in Manhattan has upheld a contempt order against two companies Rennick owned. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled in February that Rennick had to surrender records he'd refused to turn over to the government, saying they'd implicate him in criminal wrongdoing,
The government said in court papers they sought the documents as part of an ongoing federal investigation into "illegal" online gambling businesses that operate offshore.
Source: InfoPowa News