Daniel Tzvetkoff, the former online payment processor whose cooperation with US law enforcement was credited with bringing about the Black Friday online poker indictments, has been sentenced to time served. The 31-year-old Tzvetkoff (pictured) had been looking at a potential 75 years in the slammer after being arrested in Las Vegas in April 2010 on charges of bank fraud and money laundering. But Tzvetkoff was allowed to plead guilty in a Manhattan court to one count each of conspiracy and operating an illegal gambling business, for which US District Judge Lewis Kaplan sentenced Tzvetkoff to time served and forfeiture of $13m.
A probation report had recommended a sentence of six to 12 months but Tzvetkoff’s attorney Robert Goldstein had argued that his client shouldn’t suffer anything more than the four months he served in a Brooklyn jail following his 2010 arrest. Goldstein told Kaplan that his client was now working as chief technical officer for a “respectable organization” in his native Australia, to which Kaplan had allowed him to return. Goldstein told Reuters that Tzvetkoff was looking forward to “a productive, happy and quiet life with his family.”
Prior to his arrest, Tzvetkoff had assisted online poker companies including Black Friday targets PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker in processing payments for US players via Tzvetkoff’s payment firm Intabill. Tzvetkoff fell out with the companies following a scandal in which tens of millions of dollars of the poker companies’ funds disappeared amid allegations that Tzvetkoff was using Intabill client monies to underwrite his lavish lifestyle. After being arrested, Tzvetkoff agreed to cooperate with the Department of Justice, reportedly handing over some 90k emails and documents that revealed the inner workings of the online poker payment universe.