Ryan Lane, who used to process gambling-related funds for online poker rooms, has pleaded that he is guilty of illegal gambling, bank fraud, and money laundering at a federal court in Manhattan.
Ryan Lane used to work in direct association with the senior chief executive officers of Absolute Poker, PokerStars, and Full Tilt Poker. He told the court that he stands guilty of being involved in a scheme that deceived banks into processing gambling money worth billions of dollars.
The US federal government passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006, according to which it isn’t criminal for players to place bets online, but is definitely illegal to accept in full knowledge funds that are somehow related to another person’s participation in online gambling.
The UIGEA made several online gambling companies to withdraw their presence from the US online gambling market. However, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker stayed on and became the largest and the best US online poker rooms. Since it was illegal for banks in the US to process gambling related funds, these online poker companies hired the services of third-party payment processors such as Ryan Lane, who used all sorts of methods to disguise payments, making it appear as if they had nothing to do with online gambling.
Mr. Lane worked in association with the chiefs of all the three online poker companies, which were cracked down upon by the US federal government through an online payment procession company for which he worked before the UIGEA was passed in 2006. He left his job after the UIGEA was passed and began researching ways to process gambling related funds so that the online poker rooms could continue offering online poker services to US players.
Between 2007 and May 2010, Mr. Lane was associated with a number of senior executives of online poker companies and online payment processing companies who could transfer funds players’ poker funds to and from US bank accounts. He created a number of fake companies through which the poker funds passed, making it appear that these were funds used in the purchase and sale of items not related to gambling.
Mr. Lane (37) surrendered to the US government, and if proven guilty, he will have to be imprisoned for 30 years. So far, defendants Bradley Franzen, Brent Beckley, John Campos, and Chad Elie have also appeared before US courts in relation to this case.