Poker News – US Agreement with Two Online Poker Companies

News Release - US Makes Agreement with Two ONLINE Poker Sites
 
  
As Part of Agreements, Use of Domain Names Pokerstars.com and Fulltiltpoker.com Will Be Restored to Facilitate Return of U.S. Player Funds
 

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for theSouthern District of New York, announced today that the United

States entered into domain-name use agreements with PokerStars

and Full Tilt Poker, two of three online poker companies named as

defendants in an April 15 civil money laundering and forfeiture

Complaint (the "Civil Complaint"), alleging bank fraud, wire

fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses. The

Complaint, a related Indictment, and a related Restraining Order

issued against multiple bank accounts utilized by the companies

and their payment processors do not prohibit the companies from

refunding players’ money. Nevertheless, this agreement will

facilitate the return of money so that players can register their

refund requests directly with Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: "On April

15th, this Office and the FBI took specific legal action against

11 individuals who allegedly engaged not merely in the operation

of illegal gambling businesses, but in massive wire fraud, bank

fraud, and money laundering, despite repeated warnings and clear

notice that their conduct was illegal in the United States. No

individual player accounts were ever frozen or restrained, and

each implicated poker company has at all times been free to

reimburse any player's deposited funds. In fact, this Office

expects the companies to return the money that U.S. players

entrusted to them, and we will work with the poker companies to

facilitate the return of funds to players, as today’s agreements

with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker demonstrate."

Under the terms of the agreements with PokerStars and

Full Tilt Poker, the companies agreed that they would not allow

for, facilitate, or provide the ability for players located in

the United States to engage in playing online poker for "real

money" or any other thing of value. The agreements allow for

PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to use the pokerstars.com and

fulltiltpoker.com domain names to facilitate the withdrawal of

U.S. players’ funds held in account with the companies. The

deposit of funds by U.S. players is expressly prohibited. In

addition, the agreements do not prohibit, and, in fact, expressly

allow for, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to provide for, and

facilitate, players outside of the United States to engage in

playing online poker for real money. The agreements also require

the appointment of an independent Monitor to verify PokerStars’

and Full Tilt Poker’s compliance with the agreements. The

Government stands to enter the same agreement with Absolute Poker

if it so chooses.

An Indictment was unsealed in Manhattan federal court

on April 15, 2011 charging eleven defendants, including the

founders of the three largest Internet poker companies doing

business in the United States – PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and

Absolute Poker (the "Poker Companies") – with conspiracy to

commit bank and wire fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling

offenses. The United States also filed a Civil Complaint against

the Poker Companies, their assets, and the assets of several

payment processors for the Poker Companies. In addition, a

restraining order was issued against multiple bank accounts

utilized by the Poker Companies and their payment processors.

The Government did not restrain any players’ accounts. Five

Internet domain names used by the Poker Companies –

pokerstars.com; fulltiltpoker.com; absolutepoker.com;

ultimatebet.com; and ub.com – were also seized. As alleged in

the Indictment and Civil Complaint, the Poker Companies

collectively obtained approximately $3 billion in proceeds as a

result of their illegal activities.

Assistant U. S. Attorneys SHARON COHEN LEVIN, MICHAEL

LOCKARD and JASON COWLEY are in charge of the civil money

laundering and forfeiture actions, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys

ARLO DEVLIN-BROWN and NICOLE FRIEDLANDER are in charge of the

criminal case.

11-101 ###

 

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