A Canadian who artfully moved hundreds of millions of dollars of illegal gaming payments into the United States was sentenced last week to six months home confinement [house arrest]. Douglas Rennick, who was sentenced in United States District in Manhattan,* also agreed to forfeit $17.1m seized from his companies' bank accounts, was originally accused of money laundering conspiracy, bank fraud, and Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. The Indictment** alleges that he transferred $566m for two major online gambling websites through major American banks.
Rennick, according to the Indictment, stated to his US banks that his five front companies were servicing legitimate clients:
- Travel resellers
- Product Resellers
- Advertising resellers
- Contract Payments
- Consulting Services
The money, which was routed through Cyprus, into the United States, represented gambling payments, notwithstanding Rennick's statement to the banks that he was not processing illegal payments.
The Defendant's apparent subsequent (post-arrest) substantial assistance to law enforcement resulted in the filing of revised charges in through an Information, charging only transmission of Wagering Information and he changed his plea to guilty. Six months house arrest, where he is being allowed to engage in employment, for such a large money laundering operation, perpetrated through US banks, is frankly insufficient to deter similar conduct from others who might be tempted by the extremely high level of profits realised by gaming payments processors.
A Canadian who is a former felon was the undercover operator that spotted and uncovered the money laundering scheme and assisted in the prosecution.