The New York Daily News today reported that three of the largest Internet gambling websites, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker, have been charged with bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling, with all three facing over $3 billion in penalties and forfeitures.
According to federal prosecutors, the three companies found ways to circumvent federal gambling laws, including one passed in 2006 that banned U.S. banks and credit car companies from helping to transfer money between gamblers and international gaming operators.
Others attempted to bribe their way around the laws by offering "multi-million dollar investments" to cash-strapped banks.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, speaking with the Daily News, said:
"These defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits. In their zeal to circumvent the gambling laws, the defendants also engaged in massive money laundering and bank fraud."
The 11 people brought up on charges in connection with the case are expected to be arraigned today.
[via NY Daily News]