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Washington State Law Enforcement Seizing Online Gambling Funds

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jan/05/2011
Washington State Online Poker Seizures

The state of Washington has quietly begun seizing banking accounts used to fund online poker sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker according to Forbes.com.  Both these companies stopped accepting customers from the state late last year.

Washington State is the only jurisdiction in the US that implicitly makes betting online a Class C felony.  As such, gamblers themselves can be prosecuted and receive a similar sentence to that of a child molester, drug pusher or repeat drunk driving offender. 

To date, nearly $8 million from financial outfits that were processing transactions for these online poker outfits has been seized.

From Forbes.com:

According to four civil forfeiture complaints filed in federal court in Seattle since October, federal prosecutors have moved against cash sitting in accounts at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and SunTrust Banks, belonging to payment processor firms like Arrow Checks, Secure Money, Etegrity Processing, Anaya Trading Solutions and Blue Lake Capital Management and Logistics.

The government’s cash grab is the result of a task force investigation that included the Washington State Gambling Commission and began in January 2009, the court filings show. The largest of these forfeiture cases, filed in December and involving $5.1 million, began in June after task force officer William Marik was notified by a witness that he had received a payout check of online poker winnings from Arrow Checks. The government investigation tracked more than $20 million of wire transfers from Canada and Texas to Arrow Checks accounts at Bank of America controlled by Scott Seguin and Justin Sather, court documents say.

Poker players were also called by state authorities, notifying them proceeds were used for criminal activity. 

The other payment processor companies involved in the civil forfeiture actions were run by Brian Kenny and Javier Carillo, both of whom court documents say facilitated payments to Washington state residents derived from online poker play at UltimateBet, Forbes.com reported.

- Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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