Online poker in the United States may have suffered a sudden death on Friday. The three largest poker site, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, was closed by the FBI and a number of top affiliates have been accused of money laundering and bank fraud. The Los Angeles Times, two defendants were arrested Friday morning and federal agents are looking for several others.
In 2006, Congress passed a law severely restricting online gambling. Though some companies in the United States closed its doors completely, there are many ways to circumvent the new law. According to the indictment, went to court in Manhattan, who have broken the law to do so.
"These defendants concocted a vast criminal fraud, in turn fool some U.S. banks and other corruption effectively to ensure the continued flow of billions of dollars in illegal gambling profits," said the U.S. attorney in Preet Bharara statement.
The Times reports that yesterday afternoon, sites like Full Tilt Poker displays a message explaining that "this area was seized by the FBI under an arrest warrant." Prosecutors may seek to recover over $ 3 billion dollars from businesses and executives in jail.
Full Tilt Executive Raymond Bitar, who was one of those charges, issued a statement defending the company.
"I am surprised and disappointed at the government's decision to bring these charges. I look forward to Mr. Burtnick and my escape," he said. His and other companies said that their practices are legal and have vowed to court martial.