Law Enforcement Probe Online Poker Room

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Feb/13/2009

An American online poker room that went out of business last year is being investigated by police.

According to media reports, former online poker room Zosoz, which opened in October of 2008 and folded two months later, owes money to numerous former customers.

That has sparked a criminal investigation of the room, based in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA, by White Bear Lake police, the reports said.

Zosoz was one of a new breed of so-called "legal" online poker rooms based in the USA.

Operating at www.zosoz.com, the room claimed it was legal because technically, it didn't offer gambling.

Instead, it charged players a monthly fee for the right to play free poker games where cash could be won.

Lynne Bakes, police chief of the White Bear Lake Police Department, told a local newspaper: "We are at the initial stages of evidence gathering to determine what type of criminal activity may have occurred." Bakes added that dozens of people have reported that they are either owed monies by Zosoz or were paid checks by Zosoz that bounced.

More than $50,000 worth of bounced checks have been reported, she said.

One couple, Brad and Julia Thompson of Florida, won thousands of dollars playing poker at Zosoz, but when they cashed three Zosoz checks totalling more than $12,000, all three checks bounced, Bakes said.

According to police, Zosoz was owned by Michael Ogren, who also owns a nightclub called the Myth Night Club in Maplewood, Minnesota, USA.

Tim Belisle, whose name surfaced earlier in the operation of Zosoz, worked for Ogren, police said.

Anyone who is owed money by Zosoz and has not been paid, or who has been paid with a Zosoz check that bounced, is asked to call White Bear Lake police at 651-429-8511.

Thomas Somach, www.pokerhelper.com

 

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