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Online Poker Seizure Warrants Could be Unsealed Monday

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jul/22/2009
online poker

July 27 is the date a Judge is slated to hear arguments pertaining to Costigan Media's Motion to Intervene.  The parent company of Gambling911.com is asking to have seizure warrants unsealed relating to frozen online poker funds totaling up to $40 million. 

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York instructed three banks to freeze the accounts in early June and another to do so on June 24.  A letter faxed to one bank, Alliance Bank of Arizona, claimed that accounts held by payment processor Allied Systems Inc. are subject to seizure and forfeiture "because they constitute property involved in money laundering transactions and illegal gambling offenses." The letter was signed by Arlo Devlin-Brown, the assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The US Government responded to Costigan Media's Motion on Monday, implying strongly that more seizures of funds were anticipated. 

"Under these circumstances, granting Costigan's Motion would be unprecedented," the Government argues.

"Indeed while Costigan's brief cites dozens of decisions from various jurisdictions that support its arguments, it has not cited a single decision in any federal court granting a motion to unseal a seizure warrant affidavit while a criminal investigation is ongoing.

"Unsealing a seizure warrant application during the course of a related criminal investigation is unprecedented because neither the media nor the public have a right to access such documents."

Costigan Media, which is represented by Baruch Weiss of Arent Fox and former acting deputy general counsel at Homeland Security, was given two days in which to respond to the Government's argument. 

Costigan Media is exercising its First Amendment rights as an electronic media outlet to access information contained in the seizure warrants and other court documents.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

 

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