Internet gambling payment processor faces charges

Canadian man faces decades in prison and multiple fines

The operator of several companies that allegedly processed more than $US350 million in illegal Internet gambling payments has been indicted on bank fraud and other offenses, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Douglas Rennick opened a number of bank accounts in the U.S. under various corporate names, between 2007 and June 2009, the DOJ said in a press release.

Canadian resident Rennick, 34, indicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, has been charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to engage in money laundering and conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business.

If found guilty, Rennick faces a maximum term of 30 years in prison and a $US1 million fine on the bank fraud charge, 20 years in prison and a $US500,000 fine on the money laundering charge, and five years in prison and a $US250,000 fine on the gambling charge.

The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of about $US565.9 million, representing the amount Rennick allegedly obtained in the illegal gambling and bank fraud conspiracies.

Rennick opened bank accounts under several corporate names, including KJB Financial, Account Services and Check Payment Financial, the DOJ said.

He and co-conspirators falsely represented that the accounts would be used for such purposes as issuing rebate checks, refund checks, sponsorship checks, affiliate checks and minor payroll processing, the DOJ said.

Instead, Rennick and his co-conspirators used the accounts to receive funds from offshore Internet gambling companies that offered poker, blackjack, slots and other casino games.

Rennick and his co-conspirators then disbursed those funds by checks to U.S. residents seeking to cash out their gambling winnings, the DOJ said.

Rennick and his co-conspirators provided false information to U.S. banks about the purpose of the accounts, as processing Internet gambling checks is illegal in the U.S., the DOJ said.

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Grant Gross

IDG News Service
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