As a result of an undercover sting operation against internet gaming operators by Homeland Security Investigations in Maryland, a federal grand jury in Baltimore issued more indictments charging three individuals and two companies with conducting illegal internet gambling and money laundering.
The two indictments were returned on April 26, 2011 and unsealed today against Darren Wright and David Parchomchuk of software company ThrillX Systems and both men from British Columbia and Ann Marie Puig from Costa Rica of BMX Entertainment, a company based in Limassol, Cyprus which operates six online-gambling websites.
The indictments allege that the defendants own and manage illegal gambling businesses involving online sports betting. The affidavit alleges that online gambling sites are run by companies located outside of the U.S., while the majority of customers are in the U.S. Internet gambling operators rely upon the U.S. banking system, and more specifically, money-processing business generally called “payment processors,” to facilitate the movement of funds to and from their customers, the gamblers.
As part of the investigation, 11 bank accounts located in Charlotte, North Carolina; Guam; Panama; Malta; Portugal; and the Netherlands; and domain names associated with 10 internet gambling sites were also seized today.
Here is the complete list of the domains:
“It is illegal for internet gambling enterprises to do business in Maryland, regardless of where the website operator is located,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein said in a press release. “We cannot allow foreign website operators to flout the law simply because their headquarters are based outside the country.”
The defendants could, if convicted, see a maximum sentence of five years in prison for operating an illegal gambling business and a maximum of 20 years in prison for money laundering.
In similar news related to the indictments of April 15, “poker Black Friday”, Bradley Franzen who is one of the individuals charged, plead guilty today to lesser charges in a Manhattan court in exchange for testimony against some of the other individuals named in the case.
The US Department of Justice had built momentum and from today’s news, one can only expect more indictments to follow against other internet gaming operators.
Click here to view the full statement released by the Department of Justice.