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  1. #1
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 09:22 PM
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    Default Online Poker Sites Charged

    I stopped playing a while ago but this is a very interesting story.


    The poker world was shaken Friday as the owners of the three largest online poker sites -- PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker -- were charged with bank fraud, illegal gambling offenses and money laundering.

    The Manhattan U.S. Attorney announced the indictments of those involved with the online poker sites as well as those who were responsible for the financial transactions. The 11 defendants are Isai Scheinberg and Paul Tate (PokerStars), Raymond Bitar and Nelson Burtnick (Full Tilt Poker), Scott Tom and Brent Beckley (Absolute Poker) and Ryan Lang, Ira Rubin, Bradley Franzen, Chad Elie and John Campos (involved with payment processors).

    Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in the indictment: "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.


    The companies are all based overseas. The indictment sought $3 billion in money laundering penalties and forfeiture from the defendants.

    The charges are conspiracy to violate Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), violation of UIGEA, operation of illegal gambling business, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy . Maximum penalties from these charges range from five years in prison and a $250,000 fine to 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine (or twice the gross gain or loss).

    "These defendants, knowing full well that their business with U.S. customers and U.S. banks was illegal, tried to stack the deck," said Janice Fedarcyk, FBI assistant director-in-charge. "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."

    The complaint also alleged that these companies used "fraudulent methods" to trick financial institutions into receiving payments.

    "[The sites] 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."

    "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 the Poker Players Alliance in a news release. "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."

    The past few years, there have been numerous seizures and indictments of payment processors in the United States who were handling the financial transactions of the online poker sites. As processors continued to be targeted and shut down by federal prosecutors, the sites turned to a new direction to the point that sites "purchased the principals of a few small, local banks" that were facing tough financial times "in return for multi-million dollar investments in the banks."

    Campos and Elie were arrested Friday morning, and the Southern District of New York has stated it is working with Interpol to arrest those located abroad.

    PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have prohibited online poker players in the United States from participating in real-money gaming. Absolute Poker is still offering American players access to their sites.

    ESPN.com contacted Carolyn Sullivan of the U.S. Department of Justice, but she was unable to comment at this time. PokerStars did not reply to ESPN.com's interview request.

    Full Tilt Poker released a statement regarding the charges.

    "I am surprised and disappointed by the government's decision to bring these charges," Bitar said. "I look forward to Mr. Burtnick's and my exoneration."

    Poker Stars and Full Tilt are sponsors of ESPN poker programming

  2. #2
    Baluchitherium Mikey Metalhead's Avatar
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    I think it was fulltilt a bunch of us here used to meet on... not for real money though.
    I SURVIVED TEXAS LINKERS WEEKEND I, II, III, IV and VI and VII.barely made it to VIII time to slow down
    I musta had a broken middle finger for V
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk jimmy812's Avatar
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    06.03.17 @ 06:59 PM
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    Default

    I just picked up Rich Roeper's book, Bet the House, from the library the other day (yeah, he's the movie critic). I had no idea he was a big-time gambler, so I was kind of intrigued. But the book details a gambling experiment where he gambled at least $1000 a day for 30 days.
    But the weird thing is that I just read the part where he explains online gambling and how the poker sites are not supposed to accept credit cards (from U.S. citizens), according to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This Act stopped American banks from making transactions with online sites. However, he plays at Bodog and one of the options for establishing an account was 'credit card.' He went for that option, entered his information expecting to be declined since he was an American customer, but was surprised to see he was accepted.

    I guess there's been a lot of wrangling on either side of the issue. But the U.S. established a law and the law was broken, so....
    It's no surprise that this was going on.
    2-time Fantasy Baseball Champion.

  4. #4
    Top Of The World HissingCobra's Avatar
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    Default

    Geez, I wonder what my mother will do now. Between Foxwoods and this shit, she's sqaundered untold amounts of money. As much as I hate to say it because she's my mother, she's the Poster child of "what NOT to do with your money". Name a situation where it involves throwing away your money and my mother has done it.

  5. #5
    Baluchitherium
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    12.13.17 @ 02:13 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HissingCobra View Post
    Name a situation where it involves throwing away your money and my mother has done it.
    Can I get her number?
    Posted from yo' mama's house.


  6. #6
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 10:30 PM
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    Premium Member

    Default

    On a personal note, I don't really gamble, and I hate poker. I may sometimes play Blackjack, but that's really only if I hit Vegas with friends. My gf and I hit Vegas pretty often, but we've only ever played slots, and that is barely the case. Interestingly, a buddy of mine--a college professor--makes about $1k a month on Full Tilt in supplemental income. He has about a grand on the website now. He'll never get that back.

    Anyway, I just honestly can't believe this. And the sad part is that what these guys will most definitely get convicted of, money laundering, was created specifically because they made it illegal. If this isn't illegal, no need to launder.

    This is what gets me about government and society today. There are people that want to pay for a particular service. There are people that want to provide said service. Leave them the fuck alone.

    This just creates black markets, and black markets make things worse.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 03:35 PM
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    Premium Member

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    I dont like online gambling. Id rather go to Vegas and be screwed in person. Besides you can always hit the pool ,go out to dinner, or go to your room and have sex.
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk BREW CREW's Avatar
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    08.27.17 @ 09:39 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey Metalhead View Post
    I think it was fulltilt a bunch of us here used to meet on... not for real money though.
    Those were some fun times!
    Just go for it!

 

 

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