Online Poker Giants Dealt Fraud Charges

Sunday 24th, April 2011 / 10:40 Published by

Several founders of the three largest Internet poker companies doing business in the U.S. have been arrested as part of an indictment that includes charges of bank fraud, money laundering, and other online gambling-related offenses, the U.S. Attorney’s office said today.

The three offshore companies–PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker–are accused of circumventing a 2006 U.S. law that prohibits financial institutions from handling transactions for online gambling sites. Prosecutors say they allegedly tricked U.S. banks and credit card issuers into processing billions of dollars in transactions that appeared to be legitimate sales on hundreds of fake online retail sites purportedly selling jewelry and golf balls. One-third of the money allegedly went directly to the poker companies as revenue through a fee charged to players on each poker hand played, according to the indictment, which was unsealed today in U.S. District Court in New York.

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