Federal Crackdown on US Poker Sites and Owners

0

Poker players found an unusual greeting message on PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker on Friday, April 15th when the United States authorities cracked down on Internet Gambling and laid charges against eleven people including the founders of PokerStars, FullTilt and Absolute Poker. In total there are 9 counts and the charges include bank fraud, money laundering and online-gambling offenses.

Prosecutors also have moved to seize five Internet domain names allegedly used by the poker companies. Anyone attempting to visit the websites of PokerStars.com, FullTiltPoker.com, AbsolutePoker.com, and UB.com will see a message stating that the domains have been seized by the F.B.I.

The Indictment and Civil complaint seek at least $3 billion in civil money laundering penalties and forfeiture from the Poker Companies and defendants. Ever since the UIGEA came into effect in 2006 forcing US banks and processors to stop processing payments from US citizens, according to the indictment document, Federal Prosecutors in Manhattan allege that the Poker Companies allegedly used fraudulent methods to circumvent federal law and trick these institutions into processing payments for their behalf by disguising billions in payments from US gamblers.

The District Court issued an order restraining approximately 76 bank accounts in 14 countries containing the proceeds of the charged offenses. It is further uncertain whether player funds are affected.

We have also tried to independently verify the validity of this story. We ran a traceroute to pokerstars.com, fulltiltpoker.com and absolutepoker.com and found that all thee sites now link back to the same IP address (50.17.223.71) and domain: web.cirfu.net. Now here’s the kicker: as it happens, that domain is hosted in Seattle, Washington, lending some credence to the reports that this was in fact a government action.

Stay tuned as we will be updating this story as it continues to unfold.

The Full Indictment Document According to our Sources

This is What the Sites Looked Like on Friday Afternoon

Absolute Poker Domain seized by FBI
Absolute Poker Domain seized by FBI
PokerStars Domain Seized by FBI
PokerStars Domain Seized by FBI

Full Tilt Poker Domain Seized by FBI
Full Tilt Poker Domain Seized by FBI

U. S. v. Scheinberg et al. (10 Cr. 336)

The following is the list of Defendants named. Some arrests have already been made on US soil:

Defendant Citizenship Residence Age
ISAI SCHEINBERG Canada;Israel Isle of Man 64 (est.)
RAYMOND BITAR United States California Ireland 39
SCOTT TOM United States Costa Rica 31
BRENT BECKLEY United States Costa Rica 31
NELSON BURTNICK Canada Ireland 40
PAUL TATE Isle of Man
RYAN LANG Canada Canada 36
BRADLEY FRANZEN United States Illinois Costa Rica 41
IRA RUBIN United States Costa Rica 52
CHAD ELIE United States Nevada 31
JOHN CAMPOS United States Utah 57
Count Charge Defendants Maximum Penalties
1 Conspiracy toViolate Unlawful Internet GamblingEnforcement Act (UIGIEA) ISAI SCHEINBERG,RAYMOND BITAR,SCOTT TOM,BRENT BECKLEY,NELSON BURTNICK,PAUL TATE,RYAN LANG,BRADLEY FRANZEN,IRA RUBIN,CHAD ELIE,JOHN CAMPOS 5 years in prison;fine of $250,000 ortwice the grossgain or loss; 3years supervisedrelease
2 Violation of Unlawful Internet GamblingEnforcement Act (UIGIEA) -PokerStars ISAI SCHEINBERG,NELSON BURTNICK,PAUL TATE,RYAN LANG,BRADLEY FRANZEN,IRA RUBIN,CHAD ELIE,JOHN CAMPOS 5 years in prison;fine of $250,000 ortwice the grossgain or loss; 3years supervisedrelease
3 Violation of Unlawful Internet GamblingEnforcement Act (UIGIEA) – FullTilt Poker RAYMOND BITAR,NELSON BURTNICK,RYAN LANG,BRADLEY FRANZEN,IRA RUBIN,CHAD ELIE,JOHN CAMPOS 5 years in prison;fine of $250,000 ortwice the grossgain or loss; 3years supervisedrelease
4 Violation of Unlawful Internet GamblingEnforcement Act (UIGIEA) Absolute Poker SCOTT TOM,BRENT BECKLEY,RYAN LANG,BRADLEY FRANZEN,IRA RUBIN,CHAD ELIE 5 years in prison;fine of $250,000 ortwice the grossgain or loss; 3years supervisedrelease
5 Operation ofIllegal GamblingBusiness -PokerStars ISAI SCHEINBERG,NELSON BURTNICK,PAUL TATE,RYAN LANG,BRADLEY FRANZEN,IRA RUBIN,CHAD ELIE,JOHN CAMPOS 5 years in prison;fine of $250,000 ortwice the grossgain or loss; 3years supervisedrelease; forfeitureof proceeds ofoffense
6 Operation ofIllegal GamblingBusiness – Full Tilt Poker RAYMOND BITAR,NELSON BURTNICK,RYAN LANG,BRADLEY FRANZEN,IRA RUBIN,CHAD ELIE,JOHN CAMPOS 5 years in prison;fine of $250,000 ortwice the grossgain or loss; 3years supervisedrelease; forfeitureof proceeds ofoffense
7 Operation ofIllegal GamblingBusiness Absolute Poker SCOTT TOM,BRENT BECKLEY,RYAN LANG,BRADLEY FRANZEN,IRA RUBIN,CHAD ELIE 5 years in prison;fine of $250,000 ortwice the grossgain or loss; 3years supervisedrelease; forfeitureof proceeds ofoffense
8 Conspiracy toCommit Bank Fraud and Wire Fraud ISAI SCHEINBERG,RAYMOND BITAR,BRENT BECKLEY,NELSON BURTNICK,PAUL TATE,RYAN LANG,BRADLEY FRANZEN,IRA RUBIN,CHAD ELIE 30 years in prison;fine of $1,000,000or twice the grossgain or loss; 5years supervisedrelease; forfeitureof proceeds ofoffense
9 Money LaunderingConspiracy ISAI SCHEINBERG,RAYMOND BITAR,BRENT BECKLEY,NELSON BURTNICK,PAUL TATE,RYAN LANG,BRADLEY FRANZEN,IRA RUBIN,CHAD ELIE,JOHN CAMPOS 20 years in prison;fine of $500,000 ortwice the amount laundered; 3 yearssupervised release;forfeiture of proceeds of offense

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here