Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

This Show Sucks!

APCW Perspectives Weekly for June 17th, 2011

by , Jun 19, 2011 | 1:25 pm

Online gambling news that really sucks includes updates on from Quicktender, affiliate program closures, and the FBI giving away our money to local cops! Plus, an update on a story from Vancouver and a shout out for a friend.

Watch the episode below:

More…


Online Poker Indictment

The Micros: Episode … 5?

by , Apr 16, 2011 | 4:07 am

Not their funniest effort, but expresses the insta-change in the poker world well. Some things are just made for cartooning:


Poker Panic ’11

Update on Domain Name Seizures

by , Apr 15, 2011 | 3:40 pm

The arrest warrant in rem in the parallel civil forfeiture case (11 Civ. 2564) involving PokerStars, FullTilt, and UB is out. This is the instrumentality through which the domain names were redirected by the FBI to the notices up on the sites. The only sites affected by this are: www.pokerstars.com, www.fulltiltpoker.com, www.ub.com, www.ultimatebet.com, and www.absolutepoker.com.

The warrant directs the .com registrar (VeriSign) to direct the name servers to the addresses specified in the warrant or such other name servers or IP addresses as directed by the FBI.

These domains have been locked by the registry (and by the registrar in the case of www.ultimatebet.com – this domain remains with GoDaddy pending a final disposition of the domain seizure case in Kentucky) and now cannot be moved without a court order or the consent of the Department of Justice. I understand that the rest of the domains (save and except for www.ultimatebet.com) are registered with foreign registrars.


FBI, County Sheriff, Local Police Raid Houston Underground Game

by , Jul 21, 2010 | 10:19 am

With limited factcheck, we do have a little more poker-minded info to go on beyond the hedline and the TV news report:

14 arrested — “at least,” authorities say — presumably to be charged with traffic-ticket offenses. Though you never know with Harris County … they’d be up for Class A capital punishment there, I suspect, if that dang constitution didn’t get in the dern way.

Not clear on what the FBI’s involvement was here. The Feds generally haven’t gotten involved in these sorts of local raids throughout Texas. And in general this raid seems a bit peculiar as there supposedly hasn’t been any sort of crackdown for a few years, a Houston player tells us.

Some basic info about what was known as the I-45 South game:

It’s a very large game that’s been running for many years. They have $2,000 freerolls every night. Games running from 1/3 NL up to 5/10 on a regular basis.

Also a bit odd/lame … commentors in this news report seem intent on naming names and tattling on other games that may or may not be involved in the Houston poker underground but have yet to be raided. Cool raw video footage though, if you want a closer glimpse of handcuffed players.


Tzvetkoff Granted Bail

Accused UIGEA violator could live under house arrest

by , Apr 22, 2010 | 1:57 am

A Las Vegas federal judge granted Australian Daniel Tzvetkoff bail as he awaits trial on four charges related to more than half a billion dollars worth of bank fraud, money laundering, and UIGEA violations. The 28-year-old payment processor faces up to 75 years in prison for his actions — essentially transferring funds between US online poker players and sites the Department of Justice considers to be “illegal internet gambling companies”.

Prosecutors protested his release, claiming he was a flight risk as a foreign national who is believed to have a $100 million hidden stash at his disposal.

More…


Rogue Payment Processor Arrested in Las Vegas
Accused of Laundering Full Tilt, PokerStars, UB Money

First criminal indictment for UIGEA violations

by , Apr 17, 2010 | 4:48 am

Daniel Tzvetkoff, first accused UIGEA criminal: Whoever said being a douchebag was a crime?

Dude … it’s gettin’ hot here in the US … specifically in Las Vegas.

Yesterday federal authorities arrested Daniel Tzvetkoff, a 27-year-old Australian national “on charges that he assisted illegal internet gambling companies by processing approximately $500 million in transactions between U.S. gamblers and internet gambling websites and disguising the transactions to the banks so that they would appear unrelated to gambling,” according to a statement from the DOJ’s Southern District of New York.

Illegal internet gambling companies? Yikes …

Tzvetkoff, as founder of Intabill and ACH System, faces up to 75 years in prison for bank fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to operate and finance an illegal gambling business, and … get this … for processing fund transfers in violation of the UIGEA.

I’m pretty sure that’s the first ever indictment to bring up UIGEA charges.

About a year ago the Australia Courier-Mail reported that Tzvetkoff owed Full Tilt, PokerStars, Ultimate Bet, and Absolute Poker more than $30 million as the overextended, ostentatious Gen-Y tycoon’s personal empire was crumbling. Then, Full Tilt (through Kolyma Corporation) sued Tzvetkoff in Australian Court, saying his company Intabill owed them $52 million.

Before his arrest, he was saying Full Tilt tricked him into a bad deal and his lawyer doublecrossed him. He blamed the economy for a multi-multi-millionaire having to declare bankruptcy earlier this year. More on the pre-arrest rise and fall of an online poker payment processor here.

I mean for chrissakes, he drove a Lamborghini with the license plate “BALLER”! And when a bank repossessed a competitive race car of his, they got everything except its $100k engine, which had been stripped out and hidden.

Click below for the official word from the DOJ:

More…


Federal grand jury investigating Full Tilt Poker

Indictments coming for Jesus, Howard and others?

by , Apr 5, 2010 | 11:18 am

The Financial Times in London is reporting that a federal grand jury in Manhattan has been investigating Full Tilt Poker and is ready to indict the online poker site along with several players who represent the site, including Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and Howard Lederer for possible money laundering and gambling violations. The article notes that FBI agents and/or prosecutors have spoken with at least two people involved in disputes with Full Tilt Poker.

Attorneys on both sides aren’t saying anything right now, but expect more news to come out when an announcement of possible indictments in the near future.


New Online Gambling Indictment, Legislation

Perspectives Weekly

by , Aug 7, 2009 | 12:20 pm

Ed. Note: Will be curious to see what gets more views — the latest episode of Perspectives Weekly or Face the Ace. LOL. -dm

Breaking News! A grand jury has just indicted an online gambling payment processor! Plus, a New Jersey Senator rolls out new poker legislation, and affiliate programs change their Terms & Conditions!


RE: Fed Crackdown on Online Poker Money Transfers (4)

by , Jun 9, 2009 | 5:03 pm

The Associated Press is at least paying attention to the developments reported here on Pokerati in what is sure to be a complex legal situation — one that already is bringing up not just legally questionable issues of non-brick-and-mortar gambling, but also money laundering. They also clear up some of the details about who got tagged and how:

Documents obtained by the AP show that a judge in the district issued a seizure warrant last week for an account at a Wells Fargo bank in San Francisco, and that a federal prosecutor told a bank in Arizona to freeze an account.

In a letter dated Friday and faxed to Alliance Bank of Arizona, the prosecutor said 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.

In another letter faxed the same day, Devlin-Brown asks that the bank treat the funds “as legally seized” by the FBI, saying that the government has probable cause that the gambling payments of U.S. residents had been directed to offshore illegal Internet gambling businesses.

Meanwhile, the British press is reporting:

America might be about to loosen its gambling corsets

These two stories aren’t as mutually exclusive as they might seem. Often, when times are changing, old holdovers from a previous philosophical era will turn uber-aggressive with their means and methods trying to give their way one last shot, and at a minimum hoping to take a few folks down with them as their kind are pushed out.

That’s certainly plausible considering how emphatic bureaucrats in the DOJ have been about the illegality of online poker/gambling even when the people and courts have repeatedly disagreed.


Apparent Fed Crackdown on Online Poker Money Transfers

E-check withdrawals and deposits blocked

by , Jun 6, 2009 | 7:45 am

Normally we wouldn’t think much of a thread on 2+2 about some withdrawal problems at a major American-friendly online site. Usually these problems get resolved in a matter of days or maybe weeks, but this time something’s different.

Developing …

We’ll hold off on saying too much until we get more solid information, but basically, checks from PokerStars are “bouncing”, particularly with New York banks. Instant E-checks seems to be the payment processor most notably affected at present. However, it’s not just e-checks … paper checks are proving uncashable, too. Reliable sources tell us that this is not just a little snafu, but that it’s the direct result of DOJ enforcement actions somehow connected to the Federal Court in New York’s Southern District.

This is the same court, of course, that handled Neteller way back when, and more recently came to non-prosecution agreements guilty plea settlements with Anurag Dikshit et al. While the Party Poker dudes are officially in the clear,* is it possible the Feds are now saying, hey, that was fun, and we got a lot of money … let’s try it again with those PokerStars guys!?!

The FBI offers more clarity on who’s agreed to what between Party Poker peeps and the Feds here.

The best I can tell, right now Stars seems to be the target. No confirmation on the fates of Full Tilt and UB payment processing.

UPDATE: Problems at Full Tilt, too. (Thanks, Ken, for the info/link!) And Ultimate Bet.

Regardless, whatever shakes down (pun intended), it raises a lot of questions at an interesting time, considering how much big money gets transfered passed between poker players — particularly in the summer — often on an online site in exchange for casino chips and/or bricks of cash.

Might the value of the Euro have just gone up, at least in the poker economy? Seems plausible if they’re the only ones able to convert online bankrolls into real American WSOP buy-in dollars.

* Cases against (with?) two other Party principals, Ruth Parasol and Russ DeLeon, are still pending in the same court.


Perspectives Weekly

by , Apr 20, 2008 | 7:14 pm

In this week’s episode:

What are the SSIGI and HR 5767?
It’s Bob Goodlatte’s Worst Nightmare…
Barney Frank and Ron Paul have introduced HR 5767 to target the financial powers of the UIGEA, and they are receiving the backing of several prominent groups including the SSIGI… or the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative.

ePassporte Pushed Out of Industry…
Another one bites the dust…
Last Friday ePassporte abruptly abandoned their US Customers with little explanation. This week we learn that the US Attorney’s Office in New York has been putting the screws to them. Imagine that!

Legal Online Gambling in the US?
It’s no lie…
American citizens can use credit cards and ban accounts to fund their online gambling activities at this site that the US Government not only knows about, but actually encourages you to play at!


Perspectives Weekly

by , Apr 12, 2008 | 6:58 am

In this week’s episode:

There’s No Cheating in Online Poker!
Now that we have your attention…
We thought that we should let ya know that some companies are boldly selling poker bot software for under $200, claiming big returns on your investment! Good luck with that! =0)

Our Tribute to the FBI…
We just LOVE the FBI…
I mean, why wouldn’t we love the FBI? They give us so much free comedy material that we would otherwise have to write for ourselves! God bless those brave men and women fighting the tyranny of online gambling!

Washington State to be a Battleground… Again…
The War Rages on…
First, it was J Todd battling the State Gambling Commission over his websites in 2006. Then our friend Nick Jenkins was actually arrested and charged with online gambling in 2007. Now, in early 2008, Attorney and poker player Lee Rousso is challenging the State’s online gambling ban in court!