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DOJ indicts more online gambling operators, seizes

23 May 2011

By Vin Narayanan
Two businesses and three people were charged with money laundering and operating an illegal gambling business according to indictments unsealed today by U.S. Attorney Ron Rosenstein. As part of the indictment, ten domains were seized, including

A federal grand jury in Maryland returned the indictments on April 26. Other domains seized by order of the court include:,,,,,,, and

Last month, federal prosecutors in New York charged the founders of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker with similar crimes. PokerStars and Full Tilt regained their domains in return for beginning the process of refunding American players their money and not accepting real-money U.S. play. Absolute Poker has agreed to work with the DOJ to return money to American players, but they have not agreed to stop taking U.S. action.

11 bank accounts located in Charlotte, North Carolina, Guam, Panama, Malta and Portugal were also seized according to announcement by the Department of Justice.

The indictments allege Canadian-based ThrillX and Cyprus-based and Cyprus-based BMX Entertainment offered sports betting services. ThrillX operated Beted according to the indictment, while BMX Entertainment offered six websites that ran sports betting services.

Darren Wright and David Parchomchuk were also charged in the ThrillX indictment. Both are from British Columbia, Canada. Costa Rica's Ann Marie Puig was charged in the BMX Entertainment indictment.

According to the DOJ announcement, investigator opened up an undercover payment processing company called Linwood Payment Solutions. The company allowed "undercover agents to gain person-to-person contact with top managers of gambling organizations to discuss the Internet gambling business, to negotiate contracts and terms of the processing, and to handle the intricate movement and processing of collection and payment data from the gambling organizations to the banks."

Linwood has been processing transactions for and other online gambling companies since 2009. Between December 2009 and January 2011, investigators say the company processed more than 300,000 transactions. And those transactions were worth more than $33 million. Linwood also processed transactions for other online gambling firms.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for operating an illegal gambling business and a maximum of 20 years in prison for money laundering.
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