Man pleads not guilty in poker probe

Updated: April 19, 2011, 11:24 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- A Chicago man has pleaded not guilty in New York to charges in a federal crackdown on the three largest online poker websites in the United States. Bradley Franzen is one of 11 people charged in the case, including the owners of Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and PokerStars. He was released Monday on $200,000 bail.

Outside court, defense attorney Sam Schmidt said he and his client were reviewing the indictment and had no immediate comment.

Franzen, who surrendered in New York, also has a home in Costa Rica.

The indictment alleges Franzen was among a group of highly paid "payment processors" who lied to banks about the nature of the financial transactions. The charges against him carry a potential penalty of 85 years in prison if he's convicted.

In a statement regarding the case, ESPN said: "We are aware of the indictment only through what has been announced publicly. For the immediate future, we are making efforts to remove related advertising and programming pending further review."

Other arrests in the case occurred Friday in Nevada and Utah.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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