Skip to comments.Three largest online poker sites indicted and shut down by FBI
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 Pokers 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 ...
And online gambling was just legalized in Washington DC. Coincidence?
They was TRICKED, I tell ya!!!
The government hates competition.
So now all of the sites will move offshore.
Plus, the fun of poker is playing the person at the table, right? It's an especially social game, in that regard.
No split of the Loot.
They are already offshore!
Wow I feel so much safer now. Lame.
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.
Agree completely. On top of what you said it’s rather hard to pick up tells on-line.
looks like their going to take the money along with what ever the players had kind of like GM stock holders ,
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.
I heard they were using marked cards.
But the executives that were arrested were in Utah and Nevada, a lot harder to do that when the executives are in Moscow.
The F-B-I shut down Wall Street?????
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.
And it’s just the websites that are down, for now. The poker software probably just points directly to the server and works fine.
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.
Don Vito Obama didn’t get his cut, so he had his torpedos shut down the game.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.....
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.
And if said person cheats, using software, it's OK by you?
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.......
The Indictment and the nine counts at the following link.
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.”
I get the concept. I just have to wonder, honestly, why it would be illegal to run a small gambling operation of your own.
Because they weren't getting their "cut".
Such a free country we live in.
People who want to "protect" other people using the iron fist of government (in every aspect of our lives) amaze me.
First they came for the online poker sites....
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.
None of the three appear to be down. Just went to each web site. Looks like business as usual to me.
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.
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.
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.