PokerStars Employee Pleads Guilty To Illegal Gambling Business Charges

Former PokerStars employee Paul Tate, 42, plead guilty in a U.S. court on Thursday to one single charge out of many for operating an illegal gambling business. The charges were part of a long-running case against the online poker industry that dates back to 2011.

Tate is one of the original 11 defendants from PokerStars, Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker who were indicted by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. The group were charged with a slew of illegal activities including bank fraud and money laundering.

Tate, who worked directly with the companies who processed payments for PokerStars, was named for his role in tricking U.S. banks and credit card issuers. Between 2006 and 2011, Tate was involved in actions of the company which circumvented laws against internet gambling, getting unwitting banks to processing billions of dollars on PokerStars behalf.

According to a statement from Amaya, the owner of both PokerStars and Full Tilt, the outcome of the case will have “no impact or legal implications for our business or operations,” as they assert they are not involved in the case. Under PokerStars the company paid out $731 million to settle the civil claims brought against them by the DoJ.

As reported by Reuters, Tate told Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses how he has already suffered in the five years since his indictment, saying “My family and I have paid a heavy price for this conduct.” The charge he plead guilty to has a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

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