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Revelations Into Online Poker Investigation Coming Soon

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Aug/03/2009
online poker

Information contained within sealed seizure warrants involving the freezing of nearly $40 million in online poker funds is about to be revealed even if the actual court documents are not ordered unsealed.

Judge Laura Taylor Swain heard oral arguments last Monday in Costigan Media's legal action to have the seizure warrants unsealed.  The honorable Judge Swain asked the US government provide her with a compelling reason why the warrants should remain sealed.  Unconvinced by their argument, the judge then ordered three government prosecutors into her chambers for nearly an hour and a half.

Even if Judge Swain were to rule in favor of keeping the seizure warrants sealed, transcripts of the discussion inside the Judge's chambers will ultimately be released to the public.  Important details could emerge as a result.  The government has argued that unsealing said warrants might interfere with ongoing investigations, most of which allege money laundering activity. 

The seizure warrants ordered certain banks to freeze funds belonging to online poker's two biggest companies, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, on June 2.  A later warrant sent to a California bank was issued on June 24.

Costigan Media is the parent company of Gambling911.com.  Should the judge rule in its favor, this would be the first time the New York Circuit Court has recognized an electronic media outlet's right in having seizure warrants and other court documents unsealed. 

A ruling is expected some time this week and as early as Monday.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher 

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