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Three largest online poker sites indicted and shut down by FBI
The Los Angeles Times ^ | 4/15/2011 | Nathaniel Popper

Posted on 04/15/2011 1:23:56 PM PDT by NYRepublican72

The founders of the three largest online poker sites were indicted by the FBI on Friday in what could serve as a death blow to the thriving industry.

Eleven executives at PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker were charged with bank fraud and money laundering in an indictment unsealed in a Manhattan court. Two of the executives were arrested on Friday morning in Utah and Nevada. Federal agents are searching for the others.

Prosecutors are seeking to immediately shut down the sites and to eventually send the executives to jail and to recover $3 billion from the companies. By Friday afternoon Full Tilt Poker’s site displayed a message explaining that “this domain name has been seized by the F.B.I. pursuant to an Arrest Warrant.”

(Excerpt) Read more at latimesblogs.latimes.com ...


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: bankfraud; companies; executives; fbi; federal; industry; jail; manhattan; moneylaundering; nevada; online; onlinepoker; poker; pokerstars; utah
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Doesn't Barry and his government cronies have something better to do? I swear. These crooks in the White House are worse than the mob.
1 posted on 04/15/2011 1:23:59 PM PDT by NYRepublican72
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To: NYRepublican72

And online gambling was just legalized in Washington DC. Coincidence?


2 posted on 04/15/2011 1:25:54 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: NYRepublican72
Not only that - "billions" were flowing through the Too Big To Prosecute Banks, and NONE of Obama's Bankster Buddies got indicted.

They was TRICKED, I tell ya!!!

3 posted on 04/15/2011 1:26:40 PM PDT by kiryandil
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To: NYRepublican72

The government hates competition.


4 posted on 04/15/2011 1:26:53 PM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: NYRepublican72

So now all of the sites will move offshore.


5 posted on 04/15/2011 1:27:50 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: NYRepublican72
I love to play poker, but have never used these on-line poker games. To me, it seems like an industry that is RIPE for cheating. Is there a computer system in the world that isn't "hackable"? I'm not so sure.

Plus, the fun of poker is playing the person at the table, right? It's an especially social game, in that regard.

6 posted on 04/15/2011 1:27:56 PM PDT by OldDeckHand
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To: Constitution Day

No split of the Loot.


7 posted on 04/15/2011 1:29:12 PM PDT by screaminsunshine (Shut up and eat your Beans!)
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To: NYRepublican72
Looks like the Feds said, “ALL IN”.
8 posted on 04/15/2011 1:29:44 PM PDT by JPG ("2012 Can't Come Soon Enough" - Sarah Palin)
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To: dfwgator

They are already offshore!


9 posted on 04/15/2011 1:30:17 PM PDT by battletank
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To: NYRepublican72

Wow I feel so much safer now. Lame.


10 posted on 04/15/2011 1:30:48 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: dfwgator
So now all of the sites will move offshore.

They are already offshore. Half the guys who own the sites live in like Costa Rica or Isle of Mann. The only result is that some of these sites are now not allowing Americans to gamble in money tournaments.

The US government is stupid. If they had half a clue, they'd pass the bill legalizing it. The last thing I want is the government's hand in another cookie jar, but you'd think they'd get significant tax revenue from allowing online poker.

11 posted on 04/15/2011 1:31:59 PM PDT by NYRepublican72
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To: OldDeckHand

Agree completely. On top of what you said it’s rather hard to pick up tells on-line.


12 posted on 04/15/2011 1:35:06 PM PDT by Drill Thrawl (I can haz CW2 now?)
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To: dfwgator
So now all of the sites will move offshore.

Most of the servers already WERE offshore, or at least outside the US. PokerStars, IIRC, was in Canada.
13 posted on 04/15/2011 1:36:24 PM PDT by OCCASparky (Steely-eyed killer of the deep.)
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To: screaminsunshine

looks like their going to take the money along with what ever the players had kind of like GM stock holders ,


14 posted on 04/15/2011 1:39:19 PM PDT by mdel747
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To: NYRepublican72

Is there anything the federal government feels that it doesn’t have the right to do? I’d like to know, so maybe I could feel that there is some semblance, some remnant, some crumb of freedom left in this country.


15 posted on 04/15/2011 1:39:19 PM PDT by thesharkboy (<-- looking for the silver lining)
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To: NYRepublican72

I heard they were using marked cards.


16 posted on 04/15/2011 1:40:40 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: battletank

But the executives that were arrested were in Utah and Nevada, a lot harder to do that when the executives are in Moscow.


17 posted on 04/15/2011 1:41:27 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: NYRepublican72

The F-B-I shut down Wall Street?????

/s


18 posted on 04/15/2011 1:41:37 PM PDT by TruthConquers (.Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: dfwgator

They already were offshore. The FBI seized the domains, not the physical equipment. Since ICAAN is in the USA, we pretty have complete control over domains.


19 posted on 04/15/2011 1:45:54 PM PDT by Melas
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To: Melas

And it’s just the websites that are down, for now. The poker software probably just points directly to the server and works fine.


20 posted on 04/15/2011 1:48:27 PM PDT by NYRepublican72
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To: mdel747
looks like their going to take the money along with what ever the players had kind of like GM stock holders ,

Yeah, the money in the accounts that they are trying to grab probably belongs to the players, including US players. Grabbed to support BHO's spending habit. Geez.
21 posted on 04/15/2011 1:56:59 PM PDT by rockvillem
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To: thesharkboy
"Is there anything the federal government feels that it doesn’t have the right to do? I’d like to know, so maybe I could feel that there is some semblance, some remnant, some crumb of freedom left in this country."

While I'm agnostic on the anti-internet gambling laws themselves, it's pretty clear that the federal government has constitutional authority to do it. You would be hard-pressed to come up with an example of interstate commerce that is better than internet gambling. Of course it's interstate.

Gambling generally has been left for the states to regulate, if for no other reason than casinos never straddle state lines. If they did, you might see the federal government assert itself. The internet allows those virtual casinos to straddle all 57 states.

22 posted on 04/15/2011 1:58:45 PM PDT by OldDeckHand
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To: NYRepublican72

Don Vito Obama didn’t get his cut, so he had his torpedos shut down the game.


23 posted on 04/15/2011 2:03:12 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: OldDeckHand

What if an potential Internet gambling site wanted to limit participation to people in an individual state, and everything to do with the site were also in that state? Does anyone seriously think that the feds would leave it alone?


24 posted on 04/15/2011 2:04:22 PM PDT by thesharkboy (<-- looking for the silver lining)
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To: rockvillem
obama will probably only get two vacations out of it . moocherll will only get one
25 posted on 04/15/2011 2:08:56 PM PDT by mdel747
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To: thesharkboy
"What if an potential Internet gambling..."

That's a big what-if. Plus, I'm not entirely familiar with the finer inner-workings of the web to know if your hypothetical is even possible - I mean, even if you could somehow segregate players in one state allwoing them only to play other players in the same state and exclusively on servers located in that one state and then only use transmission lines located in that one state, then maybe.

But, my LIMITED understanding of the internet works is that an email sent from Miami to Tampa might be routed through NYC or any number of other cities in the process. That still makes it interstate commerce. This is one reason that if you send a threatening email to a guy in the same city as you, you can still be charged with a variety of federal crimes under wire transmission statutes.

"Does anyone seriously think that the feds would leave it alone?"

To the same degree that they leave Vegas and Atlantic City alone, sure. However, "bosses" in those cities, as you're probably aware, have a long, storied histories of running afoul of other federal criminal statutes.

26 posted on 04/15/2011 2:13:39 PM PDT by OldDeckHand
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To: mdel747

LOL. I suspect this is all about clearing the field for some US firms who have supplied the boodle to Obama, Reid, etc. Watch for new legislation allowing the likes of Wynn, Harrah, Churchill Downs to run online poker. With Uncle Sam getting a nice piece of the action and plenty of board positions, etc. in the wings for these theives when they leave public office.


27 posted on 04/15/2011 2:15:35 PM PDT by rockvillem
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To: NYRepublican72

When will the Federal Government shut down Shiaweb.org and their servers. A WHOIS lookup indicates that the Shiaweb.org domain is based out of Houston, Texas.

Shiaweb.org is ran by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization.


28 posted on 04/15/2011 2:37:07 PM PDT by Thunder90 (Fighting for truth and the American way... http://citizensfortruthandtheamericanway.blogspot.com/)
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To: rockvillem

Me thinks you hit the nail on the head there.

Although Wynn was partnering with Poker Stars — the largest of the websites — to make online poker legal.


29 posted on 04/15/2011 2:37:12 PM PDT by NYRepublican72
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To: Thunder90
When will the Federal Government shut down Shiaweb.org and their servers. A WHOIS lookup indicates that the Shiaweb.org domain is based out of Houston, Texas.

Shiaweb.org is ran by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization.

Come on now B. Hussein Obama's DHS has used their seizure powers to go after clothing knockoffs and online poker.

And you think they have time to bother with actual terrorism? Seriously? Especially since Islam is the "religion of peace" and all. /s

30 posted on 04/15/2011 2:40:09 PM PDT by NYRepublican72
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To: NYRepublican72
Doesn't Barry and his government cronies have something better to do? I swear. These crooks in the White House are worse than the mob.

Online poker IS the mob. Jeese people get a clue. Do you really want to bet your house on a hand dealt on the internet? The stupidity of numbnuts defending online poker amazes me.....

31 posted on 04/15/2011 2:50:12 PM PDT by ScreamingFist (Quiet the Idiot)
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To: ScreamingFist

It’s the choice of the gambler to decide to gamble; if the gambler has an addiction, it’s the issue the gambler has, nto the person providing the service.


32 posted on 04/15/2011 2:57:01 PM PDT by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: NYRepublican72

http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/April11/scheinbergetalindictmentpr.pdf


33 posted on 04/15/2011 2:59:26 PM PDT by Brown Deer (Pray for 0bama. Psalm 109:8)
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To: Niuhuru
nto the person providing the service.

And if said person cheats, using software, it's OK by you?

34 posted on 04/15/2011 3:00:54 PM PDT by ScreamingFist (Quiet the Idiot)
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To: ScreamingFist

No, it’s not, but doing that sort of thing online is stupid in the first place.


35 posted on 04/15/2011 3:02:43 PM PDT by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: NYRepublican72
Although Wynn was partnering with Poker Stars — the largest of the websites — to make online poker legal.

Yeah, wasn't quite sure what to make of that. Maybe his brick and mortar gaming competitors (Harrahs, Penn Gaming, Churchill Downs, etc.) supplied more of the boodle. Also recalled these sorts of headlines (just pulled this off Google as an example): Steve Wynn Lacks Confidence in Obama Administration. Team Obama plays for keeps.
36 posted on 04/15/2011 3:03:29 PM PDT by rockvillem
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To: Niuhuru
No, it’s not, but doing that sort of thing online is stupid in the first place.

LOL! Really? If you go to Las Vegas, you are very aware that.....losers.....built Caesar's Palace. You get some free drinks.....lose to a pretty dealer and leave. Online, you lose to a faceless piece of software, maintained outside the us. Frankly, carry on.....just don't be surprised if your being scammed.......

37 posted on 04/15/2011 3:09:40 PM PDT by ScreamingFist (Quiet the Idiot)
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To: rockvillem

The Indictment and the nine counts at the following link.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/April11/scheinbergetalindictmentpr.pdf

Snip of just part of the info:

Because U.S. banks and credit card issuers were largely unwilling to process their payments, the Poker Companies allegedly used fraudulent methods to circumvent federal law and trick these institutions into processing payments on their behalf. For example, defendants ISAI SCHEINBERG and PAUL TATE of PokerStars, RAYMOND BITAR and NELSON BURTNICK of Full Tilt Poker, and SCOTT TOM and BRENT BECKLEY of Absolute Poker, arranged for the money received from U.S. gamblers to be disguised as payments to hundreds of non-existent online merchants purporting to sell merchandise such as jewelry and golf balls. Of the billions of dollars in payment transactions that the Poker Companies tricked U.S. banks into processing, approximately one-third or more of the funds went directly to the Poker Companies as revenue through the “rake” charged to players on almost every poker hand played online.

As alleged in the Indictment, to accomplish their fraud, the Poker Companies worked with an array of highly compensated “payment processors” – including defendants RYAN LANG, IRA RUBIN, BRADLEY FRANZEN, and CHAD ELIE – who obtained accounts at U. S. banks for the Poker Companies. The payment processors lied to banks about the nature of the financial transactions they were processing, and covered up those lies, by, among other things, creating phony corporations and websites to disguise payments to the Poker Companies. For example, a PokerStars document from May 2009 acknowledged that they received money from U.S. gamblers through company names that “strongly imply the transaction has nothing to do with PokerStars,” and that PokerStars used whatever company names “the processor can get approved by the bank.”

end snip


38 posted on 04/15/2011 3:20:03 PM PDT by deport
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To: ScreamingFist

I get the concept. I just have to wonder, honestly, why it would be illegal to run a small gambling operation of your own.


39 posted on 04/15/2011 3:25:26 PM PDT by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: Constitution Day
The government hates competition.

Because they weren't getting their "cut".

Such a free country we live in.

40 posted on 04/15/2011 3:30:59 PM PDT by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: ScreamingFist
Online poker IS the mob. Jeese people get a clue.
And if said person cheats, using software, it's OK by you?

So far, I've only seen accusations by you, with absolutely nothing to back them up. These companies are handling millions of dollars in bets every hour of every day. Why would they bother cheating and lose their huge customer base? What advantage would there be for them to do that?
41 posted on 04/15/2011 3:36:37 PM PDT by Brown Deer (Pray for 0bama. Psalm 109:8)
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To: ScreamingFist
The stupidity of numbnuts defending online poker amazes me.....

People who want to "protect" other people using the iron fist of government (in every aspect of our lives) amaze me.

42 posted on 04/15/2011 3:44:22 PM PDT by thesharkboy (<-- looking for the silver lining)
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To: thesharkboy

First they came for the online poker sites....


43 posted on 04/15/2011 3:46:30 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: NYRepublican72

Dont forget though it was Bill Frist who snuck the internet gaming act into the port security bill in the dead of night, leaving Dubya little choice but to sgn it.


44 posted on 04/15/2011 3:49:00 PM PDT by Hugin ("A man'll usually tell you his bad intentions if you listen and let yourself hear it"--- Open Range)
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To: Hugin
it was Bill Frist who snuck the internet gaming act into the port security bill in the dead of night

Nice point - this is probably "inside baseball" to those of us who understand online poker and/or UIGEA, but it's such a classic example of legislation that was passed without any meaningful standalone analysis. It's insane how many laws are passed this way - no wonder I'm such a huge Tea Party supporter.

And to the person upthread who thinks online poker is controlled by the Mafia - not really for the two biggest sites. The shadiness issue is raised with respect to Cereus (Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet) that are wrapped in mystery about an oddball Canadian Indian tribe and that had massive cheating scandals. Replace Kanawaha with the mob for that site . . .
45 posted on 04/15/2011 4:00:18 PM PDT by rockvillem
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None of the three appear to be down. Just went to each web site. Looks like business as usual to me.


46 posted on 04/15/2011 7:45:29 PM PDT by loucon
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To: NYRepublican72
Meet The Boy Genius Who Just Took Down The Online Poker Industry
47 posted on 04/15/2011 8:07:04 PM PDT by Brown Deer (Pray for 0bama. Psalm 109:8)
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To: thesharkboy

My son who just cut a $20k check to uncle sam, says April 15th was not a coincidence. They waited for all the taxes that were going to be paid to be paid and now they deny those taxpayers access to the rest of their monies by freezing the account of these sites.


48 posted on 04/15/2011 8:12:37 PM PDT by George from New England (Escaped CT in 2006, now living north of Tampa)
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To: OldDeckHand
I love to play poker, but have never used these on-line poker games. To me, it seems like an industry that is RIPE for cheating.

It's nice that you think that they are cheating but some of us have been winning money at these sites, and having a good time doing it.

ML/NJ

49 posted on 04/15/2011 8:54:57 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj
You know, I play every night at these sites, just with play money. I haven't gambled a dime. But it is an very enjoyable outlet for me.

Incredible how the FEDS have to invoke their gestapo tactics on anything enjoyable, but let our borders flood with illegals. Real credibility I tell ya.

50 posted on 04/15/2011 9:12:03 PM PDT by catfish1957 (Hey algore...You'll have to pry the steering wheel of my 317 HP V8 truck from my cold dead hands)
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