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Prosecutors Felt Compelled to Act Following Publication of Courier-News Article

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Apr/15/2011
Online Poker Indictments

The US Attorney’s Office knew they had to act decisively following publication of an article detailing online poker payment processor Daniel Tzvetkoff’s cooperation with federal authorities.  Reporter Paul Toohey detailed Tvetkoff’s “disguised” transactions, a few dozen of which have since been obtained by Gambling911.com. 

Within hours of the article being published, authorities descended upon 11 defendants from the three largest US-facing Internet poker rooms, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and UB.com.  Two of the eleven individuals were apprehended in Nevada and Utah on Friday morning. 

Founders of the three poker rooms have been charged with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offenses.  All of the website domains were apparently seized, though Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker appeared to be back up in some locations.  It was unclear if local routers were in the process of being dismantled. 

The U.S. alleges the poker companies used fraudulent methods to circumvent federal law and trick U.S. banks and credit card issuers unwilling to process their payments.

In 2009, the US Attorney’s office indicted Douglas Rennick, another payment processor for Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, the day after Gambling911.com filed a Motion to Intervene as a means of uncovering defendants named in a seizure affidavit.

Toohey had attempted to access information from the US Attorney’s office for the past two weeks but was unsuccessful.     

“These defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits,” Bharara said in a statement. “Foreign firms that choose to operate in the United States are not free to flout the laws they don’t like simply because they can’t bear to be parted from their profits."

Antsy poker players were trying to gather information from the popular TwoPlusTwo.com posting forum with over 700 viewing the “Legislative” section, a record.   Close to 6000 people had accessed the thread related to these indictments within a matter of three hours.

This story continues to develop….Please bookmark this website and follow us on Twitter 24/7.

- Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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