One of the 11 men who were sought after by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for his involvement in online gambling operations based in Costa Rica was Bradley Franzen. He also pleaded guilty on Monday to with what they have him charged with, which was conspiracy to commit money laundering, bank fraud and operating of an illegal gambling business operation. He will be sentenced on August 26 and can face up to 30 years in prison.
May 6 was the day the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) kicked in the door over at the Costa Rica offices of Absolute Poker which was the site Franzen helped operate. They also kicked down the doors over at PokerStars, which is housed in Santa Ana, west of San José. The Prosecutor’s Office followed the April 15th indictment issued by Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Janice Fedarcyk, assistant director-in-charge of the New York Field Office of the FBI.
April the 15th 2011 know known as “Black Friday” (not to be confused with Thanksgiving) by online gambling operators. On that day the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the indictment of 11 defendants, including the founders of Absolute Poker, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, the three largest online poker companies in the U.S. The bank accounts, 75 of them, and the Internet domain names (five of them) were also ordered to close down.
Four of the 11 men were assumed to be tied down in Costa Rica namely, Scott Tom, Brent Beckley, Franzen and Ira Rubin.
In the late 90s and early 2000s the online poker industry exploded and raked in billions of dollars annualy. Especially in the US, but in 2006 there was the enacting of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) on Oct. 13, 2006. The UIGEA made it a federal crime for gambling businesses to “knowingly accept” most forms of payment “in connection with the participation of another person in unlawful Internet gambling.”
Franzen created fraudulent websites and “shell companies” to make it possible to still get gambling funds from U.S. players as he confessed so on Monday. Also in his confession was the processing of millions of dollars illegally during the last five years.