Daniel Tzvetkoff was once responsible for processing US payments for online poker sites through his Australian based payments company Intabill. The 29-year old high flying millionaire will come out of hiding and appear as a witness at the trial next month of former business partner Chad Elie and banker John Campos.
Tzvetkoff faced a sentence of 75 years in a US federal prison but in 2010, while spending time in a New York jail, Tzvetkoff struck a secret deal with prosecutors and has become a star informant for the US government in its bid to prosecute the people behind three of the world’s largest online gambling companies: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.
Daniel Tzvetkoff, the Australian payment processor at the centre of the Black Friday online poker indictments, processed more than $1 billion USD worth of illegal transactions between US gamblers and the online poker sites that were indicted and subsequently closed for business to US players. Tzvetkoff has handed more than 90,000 documents over to prosecutors including confidential emails.
Tzvetkoff is expected to first appear publicly as a prosecution witness on April 9 in a New York courtroom when Chad Elie and John Campos go on trial.
Elie, 31, is charged with nine offences including conspiring to commit bank fraud and money laundering and if convicted faces a maximum jail sentence of 85 years.
Campos, a 57-year-old executive at Utah’s SunFirst Bank who allegedly agreed to process gambling transactions, is charged with six offences and could be jailed for 35 years.
Elie’s lawyers complained to the judge handling the case that, on the eve of the trial, prosecutors dumped a “mountain of documents” on them.
“For example, although the government had previously produced emails for Daniel Tzvetkoff, one of the government’s main witnesses in this case, the material we recently received revealed that Mr Tzvetkoff had deleted his emails from the Intabill server, which had previously been made available to the defence, and that the Tzvetkoff emails that were included in prior productions were therefore ones that Mr. Tzvetkoff had cherry-picked for the government,” Elie’s lawyers, Barry Berke and Dani James, stated.
“Only after we pointed this out to the government did we receive a full set of Mr Tzvetkoff’s materials, which included more than 90,000 documents and which we were able to access for the first time only yesterday.”
Tzvetkoff flaunted his incredible wealth with the purchase of expensive cars including the purchase of one of Australia’s most expensive homes at a $27 million price tag at the age of 25.
In 2009, the poker companies for whom he helped process over a billion dollars accused him of stealing $100 million and was subsequently arrested in April 2010 in Las Vegas. US federal prosecutors managed to keep keep Tzvetkoff in jail after his arrest by successfully overturning a Las Vegas judge’s decision to grant Tzvetkoff bail. After being transferred to a New York prison until June 2010 when a secret deal was made sealed by judges after which he disappeared.
Tzvetkoff’s inside knowledge led to what is known in the poker world as “Black Friday”, the day on April 15 of last year, when thousands of US poker players logged on to their computers and discovered three top gambling sites – PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker – had been shut down in the US by authorities.