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Online Gambling Processors Cave in to US Attorney Office

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Oct/30/2009

The Optimal Group Inc. (better known to most in the online gambling sector as FirePay) on Friday announced it is now willing to cooperate with the US Attorney's Office out of the Southern District of New York in connection with the seizure of its monies tied to online gambling in May of 2007.

Following announcements by the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York relating to its investigation of the U.S. Internet gambling industry, the Company announced on May 8, 2007 that it had initiated discussions with the U.S. Attorney's Office and it was in the process of responding to a voluntary request for information issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office. In connection with such ongoing investigation, the Company announced on May 11, 2007 that it had received a copy of warrants of seizure issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office against funds of certain payment processors that were on deposit with two U.S. banks, which included $19,182,418.18 on deposit to the credit of the Company's affiliates.

Under the terms of the non-prosecution agreement, a total of $19,182,418.18 will be forfeited to the United States by the Company and its subsidiaries, as disgorgement of property involved in and proceeds received from the payment processing services that were provided by the Company's subsidiaries to Internet gambling merchants in relation to U.S. customers of such merchants. Optimal and the U.S. Attorney's Office have agreed that the $19,182,418.18 previously seized, which is presented as restricted cash on the Company's consolidated balance sheets, shall be applied to satisfy the forfeiture obligation.

The US Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York is actively pursuing payment processors associated with two of the largest online poker rooms, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. 

Assistant US Attorney Arlo Devlin-Brown issued a number of seizure warrants over the summer, freezing funds belonging to these two companies.

Gambling911.com through its parent company, Costigan Media, filed a Motion to Intervene in order to have these warrants unsealed and was successful in doing so following a decision by the Honorable Judge Laura Taylor Swain in a New York Circuit Court.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

 

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