PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker Indicted For Fraud
Three of the biggest online poker companies have been indicted for fraud and money laundering. According to reports released on Friday, the United States Attorney has made public the indictment of eleven individuals, including the founders of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker.
The 52-page indictment claims that the offshore companies used “fraudulent methods” to work around U.S. anti-gambling laws. Authorities have seized more than 75 bank accounts and five internet domain names used by the companies to host their illegal operations. As indicated in the report, the companies disguised the money received from American gamblers as payments to hundreds of fictitious online merchants for the purchase of items like jewelry and golf balls.
The defendants have been accused of “tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits,” according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Prosecutors are currently working with foreign agencies to secure the arrest of those defendants currently not in the United States.
As for those U.S. citizens who had invested money into an account on one of these sites, it remains to be determined whether their funds will be returned, and if so, how.
Hat Tip – [CNN Money]