FBI moving in on online gambling in the USThe FBI has made a major move against online gambling by shutting down two of the largest online poker sites in the world. Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars have all been shut down in the US and have been charged with money laundering and bank fraud.
Eleven executives at the three online poker sites have all been charged with a number of offenses. Prosecutors are hoping to have all three sites immediately shut down and get $3 billion in funds from the gambling companies.
U.S. Attorney for Manhattan Preet Bharara in a statement which read: "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. Moreover, as we allege, in their zeal to circumvent the gambling laws, the defendants also engaged in massive money laundering and bank fraud. Foreign firms that choose to operate in the United States are not free to flout the laws they don't like simply because they can't bear to be parted from their profits."
Prosecutors are claiming that the online poker sites had payments from US gamblers disguised as payments to online merchants that did not exist. They say the merchants were faking the selling jewelry and other items to take the payments.
The prosecutors also state that the poker rooms were getting one third of the funds as a ‘rake’ to each hand that was played online. It has also been alleged that the poker rooms hired third parties to open accounts at financial institutions to be able to process the payments. The parties were supposedly using fake companies as fronts to process the funds.
This is only a small part of the information on this subject and more information is sure to come to light in the coming days. We will definitely stay informed on the subject and report the news as it happens.