Two Black Friday Defendants Plead Not Guilty To Charges
Tuesday, 19. April 2011

Bradley Franzen and Chad Elie both pleaded not guilty to charges leveled against them in Manhattan courtrooms. Franzen and Elie are two of eleven people charged with money laundering, illegal gambling and bank fraud on April 15, 2011 (for more information, see Disaster Strikes PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Ultimate Bet, Absolute Poker And The Entire Online Poker Community.

It was alleged by federal prosecutors that the 41 year old Bradley Franzen served as an intermediary between payment processors and online poker rooms in the indictment released this past Friday by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The indictment stated that Franzen helped online poker rooms to find payment processors willing to process payments from US players, “including through deceptive means.”

It is alleged that Franzen created a bogus online business called Green2YourGreen. It was presented an online direct sales operation which enables customers to purchase “green” household products for reselling with a commission. The business was apparently used as a front for processing US payments.

Franzen found himself charged with a total of 9 counts on Monday that include conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and conspiracy to violate the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Franzen was released on $200,000 bond.

Chad Elie, a payment processor, pled not guilty this Tuesday to charges leveled against him. It was reported that Eli’s attorney handed over a 500 gigabyte hard drive to the court projecting a great deal of confidence.

This Friday, visitors to PokerStars.com, FullTiltPoker.com, UB.com and AbsolutePoker.com found that the U.S. Department of Justice had seized the domain names. Instead of promotional information and the like, they found an image with the seals of the FBI and the Department of Justice and a message regarding the seizure. As of this past Friday, neither Full Tilt Poker nor PokerStars are allowing US players to play in their poker sites. Both Ultimate Bet and Absolute Bet are still allowing their US players to play; however, they neither accepting new US players nor are they processing any deposits or withdrawals. All four sites have stated that their US customer accounts are all safe; however, it is unknown when or how the sites will transfer the money.

The exit of these four companies from the US market certainly opens the doors for those online poker rooms still servicing the US market. Bodog, the Merge Gaming Network, the Cake Poker Network, the Yatahay Network and the Everleaf Network are all still accepting US players and are expected to have a very good year…as long as they steer clear of the FBI and the Department of Justice.

If you are in the market for a US friendly online poker room then we recommend that you check out Bodog Poker.