Last year, Assistant United States Attorney Arlo Devlin-Brown seized some $50 million in funds belonging to online poker's largest firms, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. Since that time, Devlin-Brown has been mounting a case against the online gambling sector. But for once, the industry is likely praising Friday's capture of a notorious payment processor, Daniel Tzvetkoff, albeit privately.
Devlin-Brown's office announced that the Australian national was arrested in Las Vegas Friday morning on charges that he assisted illegal internet gambling companies by processing approximately $500 million in transactions between U.S. gamblers and internet gambling websites and disguising the transactions to the banks so that they would appear unrelated to gambling.
Through a Circuit Court ruling, Gambling911.com parent company Costigan Media was to be advised of any upcoming developments in the cases against PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker's payment solution partners. However, nobody saw this one coming it seems. It is reported that Tzvetkoff at one point processed for one or both online poker sites.
Tzvetkoff is also accused of stealing millions from the sector.
Tzvetkoff owes millions to companies following the closure of Intabill, a payment solutions company out of Brisbane Australia.
The local papers reported on his lavish life style, which included owning a Lamborghini with the number plate "baller", sailing a massive boat, chartering private jets, and opening a night club among other things. And he would regularly travel to Las Vegas.
"What an idiot for coming to US!" said one industry observer Saturday morning.
Tzvetkoff faces a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison if convicted on four counts including bank fraud, money laundering, gambling conspiracy and, as one operator tells Gambling911.com:
"He can rot in Hell!"
Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher