repost BC 2+2 is so slow now.
From Noah SD:
Had some time to digest the DoJ press release. So, obviously if you're reading this thread, you know that this is pretty bad; they've indicted the owners of Stars, FTP, and Cereus, charged them with numerous crimes, and asked for extradition; they've shut down the domain names (though not the servers) of the sites as well.
That's not it, though:
1) They've shut down A LOT of payment processors and confiscated a lot of mnoey. This doesn't bode well for those of us with our money on the sites or in limbo. There's likely no point to cashing out right now... Stars isn't even allowing US players to cashout or transfer anyway.
There's no direct indication that the government wants to hold our money, but I suppose it's not clear what's "ours" and what isn't, nor is it clear how long it will take to sort this **** out. Remember Netteller.
2) They haven't just been charged with running a gambling site. That would be something that the sites could legitimately fight in court. They've been charged with lying to banks, bribing banks, and money laundering. There's no ambiguity there. They broke the law... in a multibillion dollar crime.
Because U.S. banks and credit card issuers were largely unwilling to process their payments, the Poker Companies allegedly used fraudulent methods to circumvent federal law and trick these institutions into processing payments on their behalf. For example, defendants ISAI SCHEINBERG and PAUL TATE of PokerStars, RAYMOND BITAR and NELSON BURTNICK of Full Tilt Poker, and SCOTT TOM and BRENT BECKLEY of Absolute Poker, arranged for the money received from U.S. gamblers to be disguised as payments to hundreds of non-existent online merchants purporting to sell merchandise such as jewelry and golf balls.
For example, a PokerStars document from May 2009 acknowledged that they received money from U.S. gamblers through company names that "strongly imply the transaction has nothing to do with PokerStars," and that PokerStars used whatever company names "the processor can get approved by the bank."
Ouch. So there's no question tha Stars was complicit in the fraud; it wasn't just payment processors.
Worse than the fraud, though, is the bribery:
By late 2009, after U.S. banks and financial institutions detected and shut down multiple fraudulent bank accounts used by the Poker Companies, SCHEINBERG and BITAR [owners of Stars and FTP respectively] developed a new processing strategy that would not involve lying to banks. PokerStars, FullTilt Poker, and their payment processors persuaded the principals of a few small, local banks facing financial difficulties to engage in such processing in return for multi-million dollar investments in the banks. For example, in September 2009, ELIE [a payment processor] and others approached defendant JOHN CAMPOS, the Vice Chairman of the Board and part-owner of SunFirst Bank, a small, private bank based in Saint George, Utah, about processing Internet poker transactions. While expressing "trepidations," CAMPOS allegedly agreed to process gambling transactions in return for a $10 million investment in SunFirst by ELIE and an associate, which would give them a more than 30% ownership stake in the bank. CAMPOS also requested and received a $20,000 "bonus" for his assistance. In an e-mail, one of ELIEâ€™s associates boasted that they had "purchased" SunFirst and that they "were looking to purchase" "a grand total of 3 or 4 banks" to process payments.
You don't need to be a lawyer to know that that stuff is unambiguously illegal.
3) As you might have noticed in the above quote, the FBI/DoJ have access to internal Poker Stars documents.
4) Scott Tom still owns AP according to the ****ing DoJ and FBI. So, AP and UB did lie to us about the current management. I wonder what else they lied about...