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Monday, May 23, 2011
Chicago man pleads guilty to charges

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- A Chicago man has pleaded guilty in a New York prosecution of online poker.

Bradley Franzen was one of 11 people charged last month in a case that shut down U.S. operations for three Internet poker companies.

He pleaded guilty Monday in Manhattan federal court, admitting he illegally helped link gambling companies with banks to process millions of dollars.

The charges were conspiracy to commit bank fraud; accepting funds in connection with illegal gambling; and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Franzen said he was contacted in 2009 at his Costa Rica home by an Internet poker company owner who wanted to process checks online. He said he agreed to link online poker companies with banks even though he knew it was illegal.

His lawyer, Sam Schmidt, declined to comment.