Breaking News:PokerStars Refund US Players $100m
PokerStars (Based in the Isle of Man) refunded U.S internet poker players from its “past U.S-facing operations” approximately one month after ‘Black Friday’ with a $100 million.
PokerStars said in its latest press release it refunded players’ cash and it would “remain true” to its agreement reached on April 20th with the U.S Department of Justice-permitting players from the U.S to cash out their balances. It’s still unclear at this point in time whether PokerStars still owes American players money.
On the 27th of April PokerStars confirmed in an official statement that it started returning player funds and that “there is sufficient cash to cover the initial withdrawal requests”.
On April the 15th federal prosecutors indicted eleven people (founders of PokerStars, Full Tilt and Absolute Poker) on the grounds of bank fraud, unlawful gambling offences and money laundering. The indictment and civil complaint aims to confiscate in excess of US$3bn in civil money laundering penalties from the three internet poker sites and their defendants, claiming they “swindled others in such a manner to trick United States banks and financial organizations into meting out billions of dollars in payments.”
In 14 fourteen countries restraining orders have been issued to investigate the 76 bank accounts used by these internet poker sites and their payment processors. The U.S government also laid hold to 5 internet poker sites that have been used by these poker companies. Players who wagered at PokerStars.com, FullTiltPoker.com, UltimateBet.com, UB.com and AbsolutePoker.com were greeted by an FBI notice of the indictment charges on their websites.
Only four individuals have been apprehended so far since the indictments, all payment processors have been arrested, sentenced and bailed.
John Campos, a manager from SunFirst Bank in Utah was taken into custody on the 15th of April. Campos had been accused of purportedly processing gambling payments in lieu for a $10 investment in the bank. One of the alleged payment processors Bradley Franzen said he’s innocent of the nine charges levied against him. Chad Elie also pleaded not guilty to nine charges together with a plot to contravene the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act). Ira Rubin (52) who is a Costa Rica resident was charged with nine counts of bank fraud and money laundering allegations had been apprehended in Guatemala.
At this stage no one knows the exact location of the remaining indicted persons, they are Isai Scheinberg (PokerStars’ founder) and Paul Tate (ex payment processor manager).[addtoany]