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Gambling.co.uk: Gambling News Archive

Payment processors agree to forfeit $13.3 million

Federal prosecutors in the US have reached a settlement deal with firms that allegedly handled cash traceable to PokerStars.com and several others.

Friday 27th August 2010



Federal prosecutors in the United States reached a civil settlement with two payment processors and their owner last week that will see the defendants forfeit $13.3 million that was allegedly traceable to online poker sites including PokerStars.com. Ahmad Khawaja and his Allied Systems Incorporated and Allied Wallet Incorporated firms reached the settlement following a year-long struggle that began when the United States Attorney's Office For The Southern District Of New York seized the funds in June of 2009. According a report from online magazine Forbes.com, the civil forfeiture complaint alleged that the funds constituted the proceeds of operating an ‘illegal gambling business’ and were deposited in an account at Goldwater Bank in Scottsdale, Arizona, between January and May of last year. Federal officials contended that the cash was traceable to PokerStars.com and other offshore online gambling firms and included ‘proceeds of the illegal transmission of gambling information and operating an illegal gambling business’. The United States Attorney's Office For The Southern District Of New York stated that the funds were linked to allegations of money laundering as some of the cash was traceable to wire transfers made from outside of the US by individuals who knew that the money ‘represented the proceeds of the illegal transmission of gambling’. “PokerStars.com does not condone efforts by processors to conceal the nature or purpose of funds used to play online poker,” read a statement issued by Isle Of Man-based PokerStars.com. “PokerStars.com has taken steps to ensure that processors properly disclose the nature of their business to their relevant financial institutions.” PokerStars.com has long maintained that it offers US-based players games of real-money online poker in accordance with legal opinions from several leading American law firms and is not violating any laws. But, the Department Of Justice has taken the position for years that facilitating games of real-money online poker violates US law and makes no distinction between Internet sportsbetting, which is illegal, and virtual poker.




Source: OnlineCasinoNews

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