Officials of defunct Bucks company plead guilty in overseas gambling case

Posted: March 02, 2012

Donald Hellinger, who has a record of fraud dating to the 1980s, pleaded guilty this week to charges that he, along with four codefendants, illegally transmitted $44 million in overseas Internet gambling winnings to U.S. citizens through a defunct Bucks County company.

The company, Payment Processing Center L.L.C., based in a mixed-use business park near Newtown, was closed in 2006 by federal regulators because of its role in a telemarketing fraud that in 2005 and 2006 siphoned $60 million from the bank accounts of elderly victims and sent it oversees.

The former Wachovia Bank, which allegedly played a key facilitating role for Payment Processing Center and similar companies in the telemarketing fraud, paid more than $150 million to reimburse consumers in 2008.

Hellinger and codefendants Ronald Hellinger, Michael Weisberg, Randy Trost and Michele Quigley face maximum sentences of five years in prison and $250,000 fines.

Had they gone to trial and been convicted on all 14 counts in the February 2011 indictment, they could have been sentenced to up to 91 years in jail each.

"I pleaded guilty to failing to register as a money service business because I was unable to get an answer from the only one capable of determining if the company needed to register," Donald Hellinger said in an e-mail Friday, describing his dealings with the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Donald Hellinger is chief executive of magazine publisher Quadra Media L.L.C., according to the company's website.


Contact Harold Brubaker at 215-854-4651 or hbrubaker@phillynews.com.

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