When the U.S. Department of Justice decides to go after someone, your Internet lawyer can explain why it’s a tough battle to fight. In this case, Bradley Franzen is pleading guilty to criminal charges because he helped hide and process payment for Internet gambling.
As noted by Bloomberg in Franzen Pleads Guilty to Internet Gambling Charges, Cooperates With U.S., “[a]fter an Internet poker operator contacted him in 2009 to help handle checks from U.S. customers, [Franzen] lied to banks and created fake companies and websites to hide the payments.”
With Franzen’s cooperation, you can expect the rest of those indicted for illegal gambling in the U.S. to either race to get plea deals of their own, or in the alternative, get nailed to the wall with Franzen’s cooperation if the U.S. government wants to send a message against the crime of online gambling.
It’s unlikely that any of owners or payment processors for Internet gambling sites Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker, or Poker Stars will sleep easy tonight.
A final note…anyone who thinks that online payments aren’t being tracked by the federal government post-9/11 is deluding himself. It’s more than a “War on Terror.” Domestic and international electronic funds transfers are scrutinized for the “wars” against drugs, against tax evasion, and in this case, against illegal Internet gambling.