Former PokerStars Payments Director Avoids Jail Time In Black Friday Case

Paul Tate, the former director of payments for PokerStars, has plead guilty to his involvement in poker’s Black Friday event on April 15, 2011. Tate, who was sentenced just this week, managed to avoid jail time in the more than five-year-old case.

Charged with money laundering, bank fraud, and illegal online gambling, Tate was one of 11 individuals indicted in the case on similar charges. Their payment processing activity was illegal under Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Last month’s guilty plea meant Tate faced a potential jail sentence of up to five years.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled instead that Tate must forfeit $119,000. The judge stated that Tate deserved “a world of credit for coming to face the music.” Tate was safely tucked away in the Isle of Man, where he could not have been extradited to appear in U.S. court.

Tate replied to the judge, saying: “I very much regret the choices I have made.”

The epic case involved individuals from PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker. Operators from the three businesses were accused of deceiving banks to process funds garnered through illegal online poker via shell companies.

Of the 11 individuals who were indicted in the case, filed under U.S. v. Tzvetkov, over five years ago, just one individual remains that has yet to face charges: PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg. Including Tate everyone except Scheinberg has plead guilty. As Scheinberg has sold the company he founded and is no longer attached to PokerStars he may never attempt resolution with U.S. authorities.

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