The conviction of Canadian billionaire Calvin Ayre in the US on charges of online gambling and money laundering has sparked fears that anyone owning an Internet .com domain could fall under US jurisdiction.
The federal judge implicated Ayre and four colleagues in almost $10 billion of illicit winnings paid out to gamblers. Ayre’s four colleagues are currently outside the US, yet face a possible jail sentence of 25 years.
In connection with the charges, Calvin Ayre’s website Bogdan.com was seized and shut down on Monday by Homeland Security on a federal court order. However other Bogdan sites, namely Bogdan.eu and Bogdan.co.uk remain active.
The Canadian, who founded the Bogdan gambling group, was accused of operating an illegal gambling business between June 2006 and Jan 2012 and of orchestrating a money laundering conspiracy.
Under US law, online gambling is illegal.