As we approach the two month mark since online poker’s Black Friday, most of the people named in the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) indictments have remained silent. A couple have pleaded guilty and a couple have made short statements proclaiming that they have violated no laws, but nobody has claimed to not have been involved in online gambling whatsoever. Until now.
One of the men named in a second wave of indictments in May has spoken out, saying that he is not in the gambling business. David Parchomchuk, charged by the Grand Jury for the District of Maryland, along with Darren Wright and ThrillX Systems, with money laundering and conducting a gambling business, told eGaming Review (through a representative), that he has done nothing of the sort.
Parchomchuk has been reported to be an owner or founder of ThrillX Systems, doing business as betED.com, but he says this is completely false. He is simply a software programmer. “His name is not, and has never been, on any company share certificates, registry, domain, or anything else related to betED, ThrillX, OneUpNetworks, or any other associated companies,” his representatives told eGaming Review.
Parchomchuk said he simply, “provided technical consulting services to this company, as I’ve done for numerous other clients in my career.”
“I had no reason to believe that I would be indicted for providing technical services to this company. As a husband and father I would not have jeopardized my livelihood, or the security of my family,” he added.
ThrillX describes itself as follows:
“ThrillX is a turnkey solution producing online sportsbook & casino software, incorporating the most recent technology, merchant banking and security implementation tools. ThrillX is also one of the world’s leading suppliers of I-gaming gaming software that features crisp, striking graphics, incredible audio, robust user management tools, marketing and advertising systems (including a fully featured Licensee program), along with 24 hr customer care service. ThrillX Licensees are offered a customized gaming system, an integrated payment system and other industry related services.”
The Department of Homeland Security nabbed ThrillX Systems by creating a fake payment processor called Linwood Payment Solutions, which ended up doing business with betED.com. In a press release which accompanied the indictment, it was revealed that an online gambler cooperating with investigators opened a betED.com account in late 2009 and deposited $500. In March 2010, the gambler withdrew $100, which was processed by Linwood Payment Solutions.
Between February 2010 and January 2011, Linwood Payment Solutions processed over $2.5 million worth of wire transfers to bank accounts in Panama for betED.com.
Jeff Ifrah, Parchomchuk’s lawyer, said, “By indicting a software programmer, Maryland has expanded the definition of who is ‘in the business of’ gambling. Traditionally only operators, processors and their owner/directors have been included in this definition.”
Ifrah has also been retained as counsel by Full Tilt Poker founder Raymond Bitar, one of the eleven men named in the Black Friday indictments of April 15th. Shortly after the indictments, Bitar did speak out, not denying involvement, but rather claiming everything he did was legal. “I am surprised and disappointed by the government’s decision to bring these charges,” he said as part of a statement released by Full Tilt Poker. “I look forward to Mr. Burtnick’s (his co-defendant) and my exoneration.”
The statement also read, “Mr. Bitar and Full Tilt Poker believe online poker is legal – a position also taken by some of the best legal minds in the United States. Full Tilt Poker is, and has always been committed to preserving the integrity of the game and abiding by the law.”