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Bodog Internet Gambling Leads to Money Laundering Charges

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Oct/30/2008
Bodog

As widely feared, reports surfaced on Thursday that charges have been levied against Bodog and its falling Internet gambling empire.

Federal authorities in Maryland have filed money-laundering charges against two men, Edward Courdy and Michael Garone, who have figured in an ongoing investigation into Bodog, according to the Baltimore City Paper.

Both men were described in two forfeiture proceedings earlier this year, which resulted in the seizure of a total of $24 million from numerous bank accounts, as processors of illegal gambling transactions in the United States on behalf of Bodog.

The charges against Courdy and Garone were filed on Sept. 29, though the filings were not publicized and were found yesterday by City Paper on the online federal courts web site, known as PACER.

According to the Baltimore City Paper, Courdy is charged with transferring $2,380,273 in April from Dublin, Ireland, to a Nevada State Bank account held by Zaftig Instantly Processed Payments Corporation (ZIP Payments), and then to Maryland and elsewhere, to promote the carrying on of an illegal gambling business. Garone is charged with the same general scheme, alleged to have occurred in April 2007, involving the transfer of $1,499,975 from Frankfurt, Germany, to Branch Banking and Trust Bank account in Georgia held by JBL Services, Inc.

Neither men are in custody and a court date has yet to be set. Since reports first surfaced this past summer that ZIP Payments was under investigation as a result of its doing business with Bodog, the later online gambling firm has had difficulties maintaining relationships with other payment processors. Customers have complained of month long delays in receiving payouts from Bodog. Though the industry as a whole has been hit by payment processing woes, most Internet gambling companies have had the ability to make alternative arrangements, something Bodog does not have the luxury of doing. Likewise, Bodog has run into roadblocks trying to enter the European market because of its legal troubles.

The Sept. 29 filing the of Courdy and Garone charges coincides with the date that Courdy and ZIP Payments filed a claim in forfeiture proceedings involving $9,869,283.05, which was seized in July from several bank accounts tied to Courdy. Courdy and ZIP Payments, through their California attorney, Stanley I. Greenberg, are seeking the return of the seized money. Also filing a claim that day was 1st Technology, LLC, which recently won a $46,597,849 Nevada court judgment against Bodog and is seeking to collect part of the money by intervening in the ZIP Payments forfeiture proceeding.

Garone and his company, JBL Services, did not contest the federal forfeiture of $14,200,195.73 in alleged Bodog-related proceeds. In mid-July, Maryland U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Blake finalized the forfeiture of those funds.

Garone and Courdy would not comment on the matter with the Baltimore City Paper.

 

The affidavits supporting the forfeiture proceedings describe in great detail the lengthy, convoluted efforts of Internal Revenue Service criminal investigator Randall S. Carrow to bring to light the global movement of money in support of Bodog's on-line gambling activities. The documents also indicate that the case is being brought in Maryland because on-line gambling via Bodog was conducted by an undercover agent working in Maryland.

Bodog Founder Calvin Ayre has not been heard from for some time. His whereabouts are unknown though two years ago he set up a portion of his business in Antigua. That Caribbean nation does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

 

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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