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Bradley Franzen, 41, also signed a cooperation agreement, agreeing to testify if necessary at any trial to result from a government prosecution that has already caused the three largest online poker companies to shut down their U.S. operations.

Franzen was one of 11 people charged last month in the probe. He pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, accepting funds in connection with illegal gambling and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The charges carry a potential prison term of up to 30 years but the plea agreement calls for prosecutors to recommend leniency at an Aug. 26 sentencing if Franzen cooperates fully.


Muslim immigrants appeal terrorism convictions

PHILADELPHIA — Five Muslim immigrants convicted of plotting a deadly strike at a New Jersey military base will challenge warrantless seizures enabled by the 2001 Patriot Act as their attorneys appeal their convictions Monday.

The defense argues that dubious FBI informants entrapped the young men and that their taped discussions amounted to little more than a religious debate about jihad, or holy war.

They will also challenge the constitutionality of a Patriot Act provision used to seize video the defendants had brought to a Circuit City store for reformatting. The footage shows them firing assault weapons and screaming about jihad.

A federal jury in Camden, N.J., convicted the men — Mohamad Shnewer, Serdar Tatar, and brothers Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka — in December 2008 of conspiring to kill U.S. military personnel at Fort Dix. All but Tatar are serving life terms.

Prosecutors charged that the Philadelphia-area immigrants, inspired by al Qaeda, had taken training trips to the Pocono Mountains and scouted out Fort Dix, an Army base in New Jersey used primarily to train reservists for duty in Iraq, and other sites.

From wire dispatches and staff reports