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Feds Race to Seize Funds From Daniel Tzvetkoff Ahead of Full Tilt Poker Claim

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Nov/05/2010
Daniel Tzvetkoff

The Australian online poker payment processor, who was indicted and arrested last spring for money laundering, is now rolling over for the Feds. Daniel Tzvetkoff has admitted to US authorities he has $50 million buried in the company accounts of a Las Vegas payday lender.  But online poker’s second biggest company, Full Tilt Poker, is now looking to get their fair share of those funds, we are learning this evening. 

Tzvetkoff, who was arrested while attending a trade conference in Las Vegas, had been facing up to 75 years for his roll as an intermediary between some of the world’s largest online poker rooms and individuals living within the United States and elsewhere who play on those websites.  The one time uber rich Australian had agreed to cooperate with US law enforcement and was released on bail.  

The Courier Mail reported late Friday (early Saturday morning Australia time):Sources said that after five months in jail he finally coughed up about the buried millions.

He admitted that Vegas pay-day lender Hugo Services was set up in June 2008 by way of a $27m loan from his company, BT Projects.

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Named after his son, Hugo was so successful that within nine months the investment had nearly doubled in value.

By March 2009, Hugo was shut down, with the accounts laying dormant ever since.

Sources say the FBI is desperate to seize the money ahead of a legal claim by online gambling firms including Full Tilt Poker, who claim Mr Tzvetkoff owes them more than $60 million.

It can also be revealed that part of the proceeds from the controversial sale of a Gold Coast unit owned by Ms Crisp – a key part of a liquidator's inquiry into BT Projects – was used to fund legal representation for Mr Tzvetkoff.

During a liquidator's hearing, it was revealed Ms Crisp sold her Hedges Avenue apartment within weeks of his arrest for just $1m – less than half the $2.3m paid by a trust she controlled three years earlier.

Sources said the sale was rushed through because Mr Tzvetkoff's lawyer was asking for a "significant" up-front fee to represent him.

Gambling911.com has previously reported on how Tzvetkoff was loathed in the online poker world after he allegedly “absconded with millions of dollars” from various companies.  Full Tilt Poker is the first company to come forward to make a claim against the Australian.

Former business partner Sam Sciacca, who was last week cleared by ASIC of any wrongdoing in the collapse, is continuing his $110 million Supreme Court action against Mr Tzvetkoff, The Courier Mail noted.

Tzvetkoff offered to aid US authorities after another online payment processor, Douglas Rennick, had just settled with the Government and received a sentence of 6 months probation.  Like Tzvetkoff, Rennick was facing a few dozen years behind bars. 

- Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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