Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

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Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

Postby chenghao » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:47 am

http://www.pokernews.com/news/2011/04/o ... -10218.htm

On Friday, an indictment against the founders of online poker's "big three" was unsealed by federal authorities. According to MarketWatch.com, the founders of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker were indicted on charges of bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling. There were also restraining orders issued against over 75 bank accounts used by the online poker companies and their payment processors, as well as five Internet domain names.
The U.S. Department of Justice released a press release on the indictment, and in it, 11 defendants are named: Isai Scheinberg, Raymond Bitar, Scott Tom, Brent Beckley, Nelson Burtnick, Paul Tate, Ryan Lang, Bradley Franzen, Ira Rubin, Chad Elie, and John Campos. Scheinberg and Tate are identified in the indictment as representing PokerStars, Bitar and Burtnick of representing Full Tilt Poker and Tom and Beckley of representing Absolute Poker. Lang, Rubin, Franzen and Elie are identified as people who allegedly ran payment processors.
The charges are based on the Illegal Gambling Business Act of 1955 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. These are the same charges previously brought against payment processors used by the sites that have been shut down.
The allegations center around poker companies allegedly using fraudulent methods to circumvent federal law and trick U.S. banks into processing payments after the passage of UIGEA.
In the press release, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, "As charged, these defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits. Moreover, as we allege, in their zeal to circumvent the gambling laws, the defendants also engaged in massive money laundering and bank fraud. Foreign firms that choose to operate in the United States are not free to flout the laws they don’t like simply because they can’t bear to be parted from their profits."
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk said, "These defendants, knowing full well that their business with U.S. customers and U.S. banks was illegal, tried to stack the deck. They lied to banks about the true nature of their business. Then, some of the defendants found banks willing to flout the law for a fee. The defendants bet the house that they could continue their scheme, and they lost."
At least $3 billion in civil money-laundering penalties from both the poker companies and defendants is being sought. According to the indictment, Campos and Elie were arrested Friday morning in Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada, respectively. Franzen is expected to appear in court for his arraignment on April 19, 2011. Those who are not in the U.S. -- Scheinberg, Bitar, Burtnick, Tate, Tom, Beckley, Rubin, and Lang -- have not been arrested, but the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York is working with foreign law enforcement agencies and Interpol to arrest the defendants.
11:55 a.m. PDT: PokerNews has attempted to contact all three online poker sites, and thus far, only UB/AP has replied and has no comment at this time.
12:26 p.m. PDT: PokerStars has blocked U.S. players from real money games.
1:00 p.m. PDT: If there is any bright side to this black Friday, it could be that this DOJ affront makes it clear to Congressional leaders like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that federal legislation to officially legalize online poker must move quickly.
“At Safe and Secure Initiative, we've always fought to give every American the right to gamble online,” said Michael Waxman, executive director of the industry trade association Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. “Since the government is seeking to crack down on the freedom of the internet, we need Congress to act more than ever now to legalize and regulate the activity. This is a major development that will bring more attention to this issue. I hope it encourages Congress to move more quickly, especially as concerned Americans look for answers and a solution.”
It could also spark online poker players, with their livelihood attacked, to band together more than ever before and make their voices heard.
“Clearly there are millions of Americans who enjoy gambling online,” Waxman said. “If the opportunity to engage in the activity is taken away, they should focus their attention on encouraging their elected representatives to act on this issue and regulate online gambling.”
1:25 p.m. PDT: “On behalf of the millions of poker players across the country, we are shocked at the action taken by the U.S. Department of Justice today against online poker companies and will continue to fight for Americans’ right to participate in the game they enjoy," said former Senator Alfonse D'Amato, chairman of the Poker Players Alliance. "Online poker is not a crime and should not be treated as such. We are currently gathering all of the information around today’s announcement and will offer detailed analysis when the full facts become available.”
1:57 p.m. PDT: PokerNews has contacted Bodog for a comment on the recent events, and according to a Bodog representative it is "business as usual at Bodog for U.S. customers."
2:00 p.m. PDT: The Courier-Mail newspaper in Australia is reporting that it is believed that Daniel Tzvetkoff is assisting federal lawyers in the Southern District of New York, the branch of the DOJ behind today's affront. Tzvetkoff was arrested April 16 of last year in Las Vegas and charged with the same counts the site owners are being charged with today for allegedly processing $523 million in Internet gambling earnings through his payment processing company Intabill. Though he was originally denied bail as a flight risk, the Courier-Mail reports he was released on bail in August after cooperating with federal authorities, and is living in a secret location in New York City. The arrests today of the people who allegedly ran payment processors could be a move to get more people knowledgeable of the business transactions of the Internet poker sites to co-operate against the sites.
2:40 p.m. PDT: The 11 defendants listed above are each being charged with four counts -- violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, operation of an illegal gambling business, conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. These charges can carry hefty penalties. The maximum penalty for violation of the UIGEA and operating a gambling business is 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss for each charge, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud is 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million or twice the gross gain or loss, and for money laundering conspiracy is 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 or twice the amount laundered.
5:30 p.m. PDT: According to a tweet from Alexandra Berzon, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal: "Fertitta spokeswoman said the partnership with Full Tilt - announced late March - had 'expired.'"
Also Associated Press reporter Oskar Garcia tweeted: "Wynn pulls out of alliance with PokerStars, while Fertitta's says theirs was contingent on Full Tilt getting a gambling license."


Read more: http://www.pokernews.com/news/2011/04/o ... -10218.htm
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Re: Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

Postby chenghao » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:53 am

it probably won't be business as usual , cos if the US players can't play , the sites will lose a lot of volume
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Re: Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

Postby chenghao » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:09 am

Tried to cashout from pokerstars , USD 100 , see what happens . can still download from pokerstars but can't download from fulltilt
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Re: Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

Postby chenghao » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:13 am

Cashout request time: 2011/04/16 10:00 CCT

Cashout amount: USD 100.00


USD 100.00 will be credited to your MoneyBookers account (lee_chenghao@yahoo.co.uk) within 72 hours.
Credit transaction #540902666

(my personal information)

If you have any further questions regarding this transaction, please contact "PokerStars Cashier" <cashier1@pokerstars.eu>
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Re: Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

Postby felixleong » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:16 am

gg
only affects US players, sg players no worries ^^
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Re: Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

Postby chenghao » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:20 am

I am not as confident , with the bulk of their funds in US accounts ( i am guessing) they can only pay from their EU accounts and if everyone's cashing out now , their EU accounts would probably be dry soon. ( again my guess)

very important piece of news as which site the US players migrate to will be watched ... if they get to migrate at all

_____________________________________

18:30 GMT durrrr comments
Tom Dwan writes on Twitter: "I long ago realized that laws replaced common sense in every day government, however I still thought n hoped the regulation of billion dollar industries was usually done in a logical fashion."

18:34 GMT PokerStars Traffic declining
Kevmath from the US, editor at Bluff Magazine and 2+2 moderator reports: "Last 10 minutes or so, Stars has dropped 15k players".

18:36 GMT PokerStars doesn't allow any US players
ESPN reports via Twitter that several US players are facing problems while connecting to PokerStars.

18:44 GMT Onyx Cup?
The first Full Tilt Poker Onyx Cup is scheduled to take place in May in Las Vegas. Discussions are heating up on Twitter whether or not this will still go ahead.

18:50 GMT 11 managers charged
Wall Street Journal reports that a total of 11 managers from several poker rooms has been charged.

18:53 GMT Over 75 accounts frozen
The Wall Street Journal further reports that over 75 bank accounts of companies linked to poker rooms have been frozen.

18:56 GMT Poker rooms are facing up to 3 billion USD in fines
According to Forbes, poker rooms are facing fines up about 3 billion US dollar.

19:03 GMT The names of the 11 managers charged
The names of the managers charged can be found in the charging document here: Isai Scheinberg, Raymond Bitar, Scott Tom, Brent Beckley, Nelson Burtnick, Paul Tate, Ryan Lang, Bradley Franzen, Ira Rubin, Chad Elie und John Campos.

19:08 GMT nanonoko comments
Online legend and PokerStars Pro nanonoko said on Twitter: "hmm...might need to consider buying from the value menu again at McDonalds if things don't work so well".

19:10 GMT Poker rooms used "fraudulent methods"
The charging document states "...used fraudulent methods to avoid restrictions and to receive billions of dollars from United States residents who gambled."

19:13 GMT Charges of money laundering
The document also states that poker rooms "...also engaged in massive money laundering and bank fraud. Foreign firms that choose to operate in the United States are not free to flout the laws they don’t like simply because they can’t bear to be parted from their profits."

19:17 GMT PokerStars, FTP, UB and AP scammed customers according to FBI
Janice K. Fedarcyk of the FBI said: "These defendants, knowing full well that their business with U.S. customers and U.S. banks was illegal, tried to stack the deck."

19:19 GMT Allegedly, poker rooms bribed and lied to banks
Fedarcyk: "They lied to banks about the true nature of their business. Then, some of the defendants found banks willing to flout the law for a fee. The defendants bet the house that they could continue their scheme, and they lost."

20:01 GMT Major witness uncovered?
As businesinsider.com reports, the main source of the intelligence the FBI optained in regard to how the accused poker rooms processed deposits, used to be one of the service providers of these poker rooms. Daniel Tzvetkoff allegedly worked together with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker before scamming them several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As a legal claim to get the money back failed, the poker rooms tipped off US authorities when he landed on US soil, leading to his arrest. Businessinsider.com also reports that he then cut a deal with the authorities, reverse-engineered the payment processing of the poker rooms and subsequently provided the information that is now used to substantiate the charges against the rooms and their managers.

20:27 GMT Statment from the PPA
"On behalf of the millions of poker players across the country, we are shocked at the action taken by the U.S. Department of Justice today against online poker companies and will continue to fight for Americans’ right to participate in the game they enjoy. Online poker is not a crime and should not be treated as such. We are currently gathering all of the information around today’s announcement and will offer detailed analysis when the full facts become available."

21:58 GMT The Micros respond to the issues
Link to the video.

22:20 GMT Phil Galfond: "Try not to freak out"
Phil Galfond via Twitter: "Whatever is gonna happen is gonna happen. All we can do is try to voice our support for online poker, and then wait and see. (...) Try not to freak out..."

22:26 GMT Also durrrr remains rather cool...
... and posts on Twitter: "99.93 might be a little high lol, but I wouldn't be worried about getting paid. Might take a little time. Goodluck if ur not on ftp/ps ;("
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Re: Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

Postby chenghao » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:31 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XjP3nSE2r0
The Future for Online Poker Players? (Humorous take)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfUwZsE55wY
reported on FNN , financial news network

On the flip side
http://www.tightpoker.com/news/washingt ... oker-2338/
Washington D.C. Legalizes Online Poker

By Renee | April 14, 2011


The issue of legalizing online poker in the US has been the source of several long standing debates. Several states in the US have been trying to legalize it in the hopes of generating bigger revenue. Washington D.C. recently became the first US State to pass a law allowing people to wager on online poker. This law was passed on the 7th of April 2011 without any objection from Congress. The bill has been titled the Lottery Modernization Act of 2010 and has made Columbia in Washington D.C the first US district and State to incorporate an online gaming law that allows internet gambling.
The Lottery Modernization Act of 2010 passed with a few amendments that include a change in the definition of the term ‘lotteries.’ The bill stipulates that it only includes games of chance as well as the skill-based game of poker. This will allow Intralot, a lottery provider in Washington D.C. to offer poker over the web to players within the district. The bill also allows the operation of a fantasy sports site for players.
This law has been much debated and has gained considerable attention and importance over the years and it has been long awaited to see which state would implement a law permitting internet gambling first. Now that Washington D.C. has done it, it is expected that others will follow.
However, it will take some time for the poker sites to be up and functional within the district. Regulations outlining the exact terms of play have to be stated by the Washington D.C. municipal government and these terms should ensure that the games comply with the federal law. Also, new regulations with regards to online gaming have to be drafted and passed through a public comment period.
When the potential benefit of offering online gaming was realized, this step to introduce online gaming was taken up. Even for the small Washington D.C. market it is expected that the intra-district internet poker sector will be able to generate $13 million for the district initially. This was predicted by council member, Michael Brown, who had proposed the bill.
While the bill is not exactly what the American players were hoping for, it looks as if it is headed in the right direction. Other jurisdictions would do well to test and see how much intrastate online revenue can be generated and what this would mean for the district. Passing this bill is a significant note to subtly state that the Congress is now not strictly opposing iGaming and is softening up to the idea.
_____________________________-

Mike sexton (owner of party poker) probably would be laughing at them now , 2006 he pull out liao these buggers still dun want to pull out , see lar , get stung by those DOJ guys liao !
once bitten , twice still not shy cos huge $$ involved!
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Re: Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

Postby chenghao » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:38 am

Summary so far :

1st round : US government to Poker sites : cannot play here lar !
fined 105 mil US

2nd round : Tell you all cannot play here liao still play !
judgement : pending


If you are wondering about party poker

http://www.pokerlistings.com/partygamin ... ment-38630

PartyGaming agrees to $105 million settlement

PartyGaming has agreed to a $105 million Non-Prosecution Agreement with the US Attorney's Office .
By: Martin Derbyshire
PartyGaming has signed an agreement with the US Attorney's Office that will cost the company $105 million over the next three years avoiding prosecution in the States.
"The resolution of our position with the US authorities marks an important day for PartyGaming," CEO Jim Ryan said. "It has been a long and complex process but we have reached an amicable solution with the USAO that makes commercial sense for our business and is in the best interests of shareholders."
Essentially, the USAO will not prosecute PartyGaming or any of its subsidiaries, including PartyPoker, for providing internet gambling services to US customers prior to the enactment of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006.
PartyGaming has also accepted a Statement of Facts admitting they offered gaming services in the US from 1997 until 2006 and that certain transactions processed by third parties for PartyGaming were contrary to US laws of the day.
Under the terms of the agreement, PartyGaming has also agreed to stay out of the US internet gambling market under current legislation.
[[PokerRoom:Logo:party-poker:left]]
The $105 million settlement will be paid in semi-annual installments through September 2012, beginning with a $5 million payment April 10.
PartyGaming stopped allowing US players on its casino and poker sites when the UIGEA came into force in October 2006 and has been in talks with US authorities regarding the legality of its previous practices since 2007.
This past December, PartyGaming co-founder Anurag Dikshit also pleaded out to Wire Act charges regarding the companies activities and was sentenced to pay a $300 million fine.

_______________________

from wiki :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bwin.Party ... ertainment

U.S. legislation
On September 29, 2006, the U.S. Congress passed the Safe Port Act and attached unrelated anti-gambling language to the act. This legislation is known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
On October 2, 2006, PartyGaming announced that it would "suspend all real money gaming business with US customers" in light of the passage of the Safe Port Act.[18] George W. Bush signed the act into law on October 13, and PartyGaming suspended offerings of real-money games to U.S. players. Free play games and non-US customers were not affected.[19]
As a result of this news being released to investors, PartyGaming's publicly traded stock dropped almost 60% in 24 hours. The company was moved from the FTSE 100 to the FTSE 250 Index on October 11.[20]
In April 2009 the company made a settlement with the United States government where they agreed to pay a penalty of $105 million over the next four years as part of a “non-prosecution agreement”. As part of the deal, Party put its name to a “statement of facts” in which it admits for the first time that, before October 2006, it had targeted US citizens, resulting in the processing of transactions that were “contrary to certain US laws”.[21]
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Re: Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

Postby targetnuts » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:45 pm

felixleong wrote:gg
only affects US players, sg players no worries ^^

wtf u mean sg players no worries,where u think all the money come from?us peak hour on pokerstars=280k players,other times of the day theres only like 90k players.i rather have us players only and ban all the effing russians,spainards and europeans.at least when americans suck out they can understand me when i curse their mudder cunts.
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Re: Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

Postby DM101 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:11 pm

This is really the BIG news of the day.

DOJ Press Release - http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pres...dictmentpr.pdf
DOJ Indictment - Indictment: DOJ vs. Scheinberg, Bitar, Tom, et al
Wynn/PokerStars and Full Tilt/Fertitta Interactive Deal is Over - Poker Websites Targeted in Federal Crackdown - WSJ.com and Steve Wynn Cuts Ties With Embattled Online Poker Site, PokerStars - Steven Bertoni - Money Talks - Forbes
Full Tilt's Announcement About Pulling out of US - Full Tilt Poker Statement - Pulling Out of US Market
Full Tilt's Statement Regarding Withdrawals - http://www.fulltiltpoker.com/officia...er-withdrawals



The upcoming SCOOP events prolly have overlays now.
Time to put in some efforts to qualify these events.
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Pokerstars Releases Statement

Postby DM101 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:34 pm

Image

Here is the latest statement from Pokerstars:

"As you may have heard, we have had to suspend real money poker services to people based in the US due to legal developments there. These developments are confined to US and not have any impact on your ability to continue our services.

Please be assured player balances are safe. There is no cause for concern. For all customers outside the US it is business as usual.


The PokerStars website has been moved to www.pokerstars.eu, and our Support Email address is now support@pokerstars.eu. We apologize to our players for any inconvenience caused by this disruption.

Please be aware that we are currently experiencing a very high volume of emails, so our response times are delayed. We will answer player emails as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter."
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Re: Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

Postby idiort » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:04 pm

hmm.. fulltilt,cant even download the update now...
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Re: Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

Postby PatterWJ » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:37 pm

When will these sites be closing?
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Re: Online Poker's Big Three Indicted

Postby MikeTheFish » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:40 am

seems a lot more fish at the 2/4 tables after us players not there !

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$4
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