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Full Tilt Payment Processor Pleads Guilty to Black Friday Charges

Although many people wrapped-up in the Black Friday charges have maintained their innocence (some in custody and some still at large), it seems that once placed in front of a judge and given their options they all seem to prefer pleading guilty, and having their sentences lightened thanks to their plea deals and cooperation.

The latest person to enter a guilty plea was nelson Burtnick, the former Director of Full Tilt Poker’s payment department who turned himself in the same day that the deal between PokerStars and the DOJ was announced (which might explain why many people were even unaware Burtnick had turned himself in!) thus ending over a year of uncertainty with the future of Full Tilt Poker and the hundreds-of-millions of dollars in players’ accounts locked-up on the site.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Burtnick appeared before The US Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein in New York and admitted to knowingly deceiving banks in order to process transactions between Full Tilt Poker and US poker players, saying that Full Tilt “had to do this type of deception to enable US poker players to load their accounts,” Burtnick also told the court, “I know that what I did was wrong.”

In addition to working at Full Tilt Poker leading up to Black Friday, Burtnick has also worked at PokerStars in the past, holding basically the same role with that company before switching allegiances and joining Full Tilt Poker.

All of this is going on while former Full Tilt Poker owner and Board of Directors member Howard Lederer sat down for a 7-hour interview with PokerNews, which the site is releasing in condensed 30-minute clips all this week. Lederer’s answers in these clips (the ones that have been released so far) has been to deflect any questions about the financial aspects of Full Tilt Poker, claiming this was not his area of expertise within the company, and from what he had seen (reports) everything looked as it should.

It’s unclear if Burtnick’s appearance in court, and the upcoming appearance of Ray Bitar, was part of the motivation for Howard Lederer to break a near two-year silence on Full Tilt Poker.

Burtnick joins six other individuals indicted on Black Friday that have pleaded guilty, John Campos, Brent Beckley, Ira Rubin, Bradley Franzen, Chad Elie and Ryan Lang, while Ray Bitar has entered a not guilty plea and is awaiting trial. AP founder Scott Tom is still at large, and Isai Scheinberg and Paul Tate of PokerStars have brokered deals with the DOJ and are in the midst of having charges dropped or reduced.

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