The U.S. Attorney for New York has indicted the founders the three largest online poker companies in the U.S. and seized their websites in a major crackdown on internet gambling.
The indictment charges eleven defendants — including the founders of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker — with bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses.
In addition, the domains for FullTiltPoker.net and AbsolutePoker.com have been seized by the FBI and replaced by this pleasant reminder that gambling is illegal.
The indictment essentially spells out a scheme by the poker companies to set up phony bank accounts to process illegal gambling transactions, either by lying to the banks about the nature of the transactions or by targeting struggling banks to who need the money to stay afloat.
In addition to the criminal charges, the US Attorney filed a civil suit seeking $3 billion in damages. The FBI froze 75 bank accounts and seized five websites, in addition to the arrests that were made today.
The bank and wire fraud charges carry a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
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