RE: Fed Crackdown on Online Poker Money Transfers (2)

PokerStars refunds, bank account seizures, grand jury subpoenas

by , Jun 9, 2009 | 12:24 pm

The latest on Federal online poker funds crackdown and legally questionable anti-poker court actions …

Pokerstars has confirmed with its players that indeed, some payout funds have been frozen in American banks — but they’ve credited back affected monies with a 10 percent inconvenience bonus and an invitation to try again, Gambling911 reports.

If you wish to resubmit your cashout request, you can do so from our Cashier by selecting the check option (your new check will be issued on a different account and can be deposited as normal) or wire transfer (only available for amounts greater than [$2,500]).

But while Stars’ “take care of the player first” approach may be admirable, wiring money through a new financier may just be a temporary solution to eCheck problems affecting thousands of players — a little game of financial cat and mouse (+ good-will PR) while a bigger, costlier legal battle takes shape.

Under advisement from the DOJ agent, a federal prosecutor in New York’s Southern District apparently got a magistrate to sign off on seizure orders last week for multiple American bank accounts connected to PokerStars payouts. The court also issued subpoenas (warrants?) for two individuals to appear before a grand jury on June 18.

I haven’t seen the legal documents yet, but supposedly they allege the seized monies are likely to be proceeds from unlawful gambling — not according to the 2006 UIGEA, mind you, but rather … you guessed it … the 1961 Wire Act.

It’s still not clear to me who exactly’s on trial yet, but the Fed’s actions at this point seem to most immediately be targeting the banks and or the Neteller alternative payment processors. Supposedly $19 million earmarked as payouts (and perhaps WSOP buy-ins) from at least one major online poker site was frozen at banks in Los Angeles and Scottsdale, Arizona. This either followed or coincided with the freezing of $14 million that Wells Fargo was holding for player cashouts.

At least one of the subjects subpoenaed by (to?) the grand jury is an officer with Allied Systems, an online credit card processing company.

We’ll let you know more as we find it out — particularly as it might affect the WSOP. In the meantime, legal teams from around the online poker industry are considering challenging the legality of the fund seizures, and supposedly the PPA plans to enter the courtroom fray on behalf of its potentially affected members if a case moves forward.


  • East Coast

    I was a regular in the 1 2k and 5 1000k o8 and horse games last year on full tilt. As the games were dying and i was losing all of a sudden i took a long break. Since the games died i started playing on poker stars.I play 75-150 o8 1-200 8 game or anything in that level. I did play the 400-800 8 mix 3 times. Bottom line is I have only cashed out from poker stars 1 time. I have sent them wires though. I get a letter from the Southern District of NY freezing my bank accounts and they want to question me as well. I found this out today and tried to post it on 2 plus 2 but im computer illeterate. They even froze my biz account. I can show you proof if you email me back. This is not a joke!!!!!!!!

  • Dave

    I can not see why a US citizen should get involved with the feds. You have plenty of legal gambling options. If you are a real international merchant, in the gambling business, you might be able to find a credit card processing solution using http://www.creditcardprocessing-r-us.com, a sort of directory for payment services

  • http://pokerati.com/about-us/#danm DanM

    i have emailed east coast and have not heard back yet, fwiw.

  • East Coast

    It is kind of early here on the east coast. I just recieved your email. I will scan the documents and email them back to you. I will be in my office at 11am EST so figure sometime before 4pm I will have every thing done.

  • syndicatesys

    pokerwallets.com is a fairly new site but looks like it will help with us poker transfers once they start getting more members. Its kinda like an ebay for poker site transfers.

  • http://pokerati.com/about-us/#danm DanM

    EC, any update? Very curious how things are working on the cash outs. I am hearing mixed stories …

  • http://Pokerstars toph27er

    The hilarity of it all is that our WONDERFUL and NON CORRUPT US GOVT will continue to allow these ‘illegal’ sites to advertise their stuff all over the television…allow deposits to go outside of the US to these sites…but then block the money coming back in. We’re in a recession and people could use the money and yet they are going to hold it back. Hipocritical asshats that belong nowhere near lawmaking…all this is based on some jackarse trying to make a name for himself and here he goes by getting a seizure of funds which I am sure soon he will run for a higher position and use this as his stepping stone on a resume.

    I am sick to death of the people in power that are ELECTED by the sheep of the United States. Research your votes people…Stop voting for the person that puts the most adverstisement up. This is what it leads to…misdirected individuals targeting only what will get notoriety.

    SICK.

    Online Poker can keep my 80 bucks…dont care…but the fact that they get to continue advertising should show you the hypocrity of the US laws and the people that are supposed to be in charge of enforcing the laws and making them fair.

    Example:

    “Stop Pokerstars from spending millions in advertising during sporting events on numerous channels – HELL NO. Stop US players from getting $$$ back from using the sites that they found due to the advertisements – OH YES. That $50 or $1000 now belongs to the US government as a crackdown on online poker.”

    Really? The crackdown is stopping the withdrawals after the money is already spent? Great system. Sounds like the logic of a f’ing kindergartener that was just hit by another classmate over a lego.

  • http://pokerstars Alex

    Hey ive been reading this couple of articles and i want to know if the problem im having is related to this. When i try to log in in my pokerstars account it says that there is an internal problem with the number (71/1001) and it dosent let me log in. can some1 help me????