Poker Players Alliance Wants Answers

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Poker Players Alliance

Gambling911.com has learned that legal counsel for the Poker Players Alliance met with Assistant US Attorney Arlo Devlin-Brown following news that $30 million of its members monies had been seized by the US Attorney out of the Southern District of New York.  That office froze funds from payment processors working on behalf of the two largest online poker rooms:  PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

Sources close to the PPA claims it had asked Mr. Devlin-Brown to be informed of any subsequent seizure warrants that might be issued following the initial June 2 seizures in order that they could be provided an opportunity to "be heard".  The million strong grassroots organization insists that seized funds belong to its members, both players and operators.

Gambling911.com can now reveal that another seizure warrant was sent out to Union Bank in California dated June 24.

"The Assistant US Attorney never informed the PPA of this action," said the source.

The PPA released a statement immediately following news of the initial funds seizures, suggesting the actions were not properly administered.

"We have been advised that the seizure attempt was, at the least, technically incorrect and at worst was a serious violation of the rights of the payment processors and you, the poker player. It is our understanding that some of the seizures were done without the benefit of proper warrants and represent an almost shocking trampling of due process. Further, we have been advised that vis a vis online poker, the SDNY does not have the legal authority to act under the two laws they cite in their action, the 1961 WIRE Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act."

It was not immediately clear as to whether Deviln-Brown agreed with the Poker Players Alliance legal counsel to inform of upcoming actions.  To date, the Assistant US Attorney has refused to unseal any of the court documents associated with the investigation.  The PPA is represented by Josh Berman of the Chicago-based law firm, Sonnenschein, Nath & Rothenthal.  To date, the Poker Players Alliance has stopped short of filing any Motions related to this matter, though they could shift strategies with the revelation of a later filed seizure warrant.

Gambling911.com's parent company, Costigan Media, last week filed a Motion to Intervene in an attempt to have the seizure warrants unsealed as a means of exercising its First Amendment rights.

"Just as the PPA wants to protect its members, Gambling911.com wants to ensure its readers stay informed as to what is going on with this critical matter, especially if they end up adversely affected by subsequent actions taken by the US Government," said Christopher Costigan, Publisher of the Gambling911.com website.  Costigan has previously referenced the sudden closure of BetonSports in July 2006 following indictments against its founder and several other executives.  Customers of the once largest online sports betting operation lost millions of dollars as a result of the shutdown. 

Legal counsel for Costigan Media, Baruch Weiss of Arent Fox, has requested from the Court a Government response date of July 16.  Mr. Arlin-Brown would only agree to July 20, which the electronic media outlet deemed as "inadequate".

Gambling911.com Staff

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