Douglas Rennick, who worked with the internet gaming payment processors KJB Financial Corporation, Account Services, My ATM Online, Alenis Limited, and Check Payment Financial, has been indicted on bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling charges.

The announcement came via a press release distributed by the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Lev Dassin and FBI Assistant Director Joseph Demarest headed the indictment, which charged Rennick with “bank fraud and other offenses stemming from his role in processing more than $350 million for Internet gambling companies.” Rennick is a Canadian citizen who was involved in the business of processing payments for various companies since 2007. The investigation into his activities was concluded in June, coinciding with the seizure by the Southern District of New York of over $30 million in funds destined for online poker players.

When Rennick and company opened the accounts in question, they stated that funds would be used for activities like “issuing rebate checks, refund checks, sponsorship checks, affiliate checks, and minor payroll processing,” according to the statement from the Department of Justice. In addition to processing online poker payments, Rennick’s accounts were also used to issue winnings for online blackjack, slots, and other casino games. No mention of sports betting was given. Funds were sent to U.S. residents under the names KJB Financial Corporation, Account Services, My ATM Online, Alenis Limited, and Check Payment Financial.

A bank in Cyprus funneled $350 million to U.S. bank accounts for the payment processing. Rennick was charged with one count of bank fraud, one count of money laundering, and one count of operating an illegal gambling business. He faces up to 55 years in prison combined, with bank fraud carrying up to a 30 year sentence, money laundering carrying up to a 20 year sentence, and illegal gambling carrying up to a five year sentence. He also faces up to $1.75 million in total fines for the three charges.

Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) Chairman Joe Brennan told Poker News Daily just moments after the news broke this morning, “We’re taking a wait and see attitude instead of taking the knee-jerk reaction to defend the processor. We’re going to take a step back to see what the processor has been doing. If they’ve been engaged in bank fraud, then they are not doing the online poker world any favors.”

The Department of Justice is also seeking the return of $565,000 from Rennick as well as the funds in Union Bank and Wells Fargo branches under the name Account Services. That payment processor recently filed a motion for return of property of $14 million in funds seized from bank branches in California. Its hearing in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California is scheduled for August 21st, two weeks from tomorrow. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) submitted a motion to contribute an amicus brief in support of Account Services and the organization officially has until Friday to submit it. PPA Executive Director John Pappas told Poker News Daily that the PPA will still file an amicus brief in the case that will focus on proving that poker is a game of skill.

On the future of the Account Services case, Brennan speculated, “It’s going to be difficult for them to do both things at once, to bring a civil action in California while Rennick is the target of a criminal indictment. It’s going to be difficult to proceed with both of the actions.” Pappas had no comment on Rennick’s indictment. Account Services counsel Michael Pancer was out of the office on Thursday.

A call placed to the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that no timetable has been set for the indictment from here. We’ll keep you posted on Poker News Daily.

2 Comments

  1. a friend says:

    A SAD DAY for Poker Players
    Doug Rennick put thousands of dollars back in the U. S. Economy trying to put together the best payout system to get poker players their money and somehow our government goes after him on bogus charges that he is into gaming business and laundring money.. which he is not. He has never laundred monies always came direct from the poker site to the banks in the U.S. to be paid out directly to the Players, Yes the people running the operations got a cut of the money but paid their taxes and so did Doug. OK maybe the banks were not told directly it was for payouts in Poker but as millions went into and out of the bank they ended up knowing months ago where it was going and where it came from and they made thousands of dollars taking on these accounts. The Poker money was seized illegaly and now the FBI , HomeLand and who ever else that has egg on their face has to try to make something out of nothing to cover their asses.. Yes its a good thing you put Presumed innocent until proven guilty because you are in need of some correct info to get this job done.. and hey go after the crooks who are sucking money out of American pockets and our banks for forged checks and counterfitting scemes.. Stop not picking on people who are helping our economy thirve and paying your salaries. SAD SAD DAY for tax payers to have their tax dollars wasted on the Lawyers and Judges and Jurys going after the good guys.. Give Poker Players their money back and go after real criminals..

  2. ronjones says:

    Why is everyone so quick to believe this guy is guilty of bank fraud? First off there is no way you can process 500 million in checks and not know what they are for. You’d think after the first 100 million the bank might do a more detailed due diligence if a only a general business description was given in the beginning? The wires also were coming in by the millions from Cyprus (a know online gambling haven). What else could the bank possibly think those checks were for? Also when it comes to fraud there has to be a harm. In this case the banks likely made millions in fees. Uh, how were they hurt? In turn the banks would have paid hundreds in thousands in taxes to the government. Uh, how was the government hurt? Also fraud requires a proper due diligence in order for you to be a victim. Given the large volume and the fact this went on for years, the banks obviously did zero due diligence if they truly had no idea what the checks really were for (which is IMPOSSIBLE that did not know). This fraud charge is a distraction because the SDNY is petrified to take on a poker case. They trumped up these charges and brilliantly spun it in the press. Anybody who has judged this person without thinking about everything I just wrote should be ashamed. All he did was put money back into the hands of American citizens who essentially were playing a video game in the comforts of their homes. Should someone doing that go to jail? The banks were all in on it and are now playing dumb to cover their own hides. They should also be ashamed.

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