SunFirst Bank Could Go Belly Up After Online Poker Indictments

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
SunFirst Bank

SunFirst Bank, which is alleged to have processed online poker transactions and disguising them as dog food and golf ball purchases, appears to be on life support.

Executives of the bank were charged along side the co-founders of three online poker companies, including Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and UB.com.

The FDIC ordered the St. George, Utah-based bank to take corrective action in order to raise needed capital or otherwise sell the bank.  The directive was issued July 28 but with a 30 day compliance period that has reached its deadline. 

SunFirst had $17,048,000 in total equity capital on June 30, representing a decline from the $23,645,000 in total equity capital recorded in June of 2010, according to the FDIC.
"They are facing the same troubles that all banks in the country are facing," said Tom Bay, supervisor of banks for the Utah Department of Financial Institutions. "The real estate downturn and the economic crisis have hurt the banking industry."

SunFirst was widely believed to have been in trouble at the time they forged a relationship with the three big US-facing online poker rooms.  In exchange for allowing the gambling transactions, the online poker companies are alleged to have invested in the financial institution.

Interestingly, the FDIC conducted an examination of the bank on April 11, just days before the indictments were handed down against Stars, Full Tilt and UB.com.

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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