April 19, 2011 |
Bradley Franzen, one of 11 executives charged in a crackdown against the three largest online poker sites open to U.S. players, has pleaded not guilty. Franzen, 41 and from Illinois, was released on $200,000 in bail after turning himself in to the FBI on Monday in New York. The 11 executives — three of whom were the respective founders of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker — were charged Friday with bank fraud, money laundering and violating gambling laws. The government also sought to recover $3 billion from the companies.
April 24, 2011 |
I got dealt some pretty bad hands in the last few days by forces far out of my control. I awoke April 15 to find that the feds had indicted 11 executives on multiple felony charges, including bank fraud and money laundering, at the three top sites in America's online poker market and seized their Web domains. If you logged on to Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker or PokerStars, you got to look at the shiny logo of the FBI. I like to play the 50-cent minimum, no-limit game on Full Tilt, and that's what I saw that Friday instead of direct access to the $216.
April 16, 2013 |
Full Tilt Poker founder Raymond Bitar, accused of using online player funds to finance his company in what prosecutors called a Ponzi scheme, pleaded guilty but was spared from serving time in prison because he needs a heart transplant. U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska on Monday approved a plea agreement between Bitar, 41, and prosecutors, sentencing him to the seven days he served in jail last year, after saying a prison sentence would kill him. Bitar, who participated in a hearing in Manhattan federal court by video link from Los Angeles, near his home, pleaded guilty to two felonies that carry a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison.
April 20, 2011 |
Though it was a Monday night and tax day to boot, finding a parking spot at Hustler Casino in Gardena was no easy feat. It may have been the ongoing poker tournament that helped the crowd swell above normal size. But over the weekend, a breed of player not usually found in clubs had also swarmed the casino. Wearing sunglasses under their hoodies and hats, they stood out "like a zebra around a bunch of cows," manager Craig Kaufman said. They were online poker players, who usually disdained Hustler's plush velvet detailing and soft jazz background music in favor of a dozen simultaneous poker games sprawled across home computer screens.
April 29, 2011 |
By its nature, gambling is an uncertain proposition for the player. But here's a bet you can't lose: If a U.S. gambling regulation is on the table, put your money on the side that says it will be confused, hypocritical and costly. Case in point: "Black Friday. " On April 15, federal prosecutors threw the book at three major online poker websites and their principals, unsealing a 52-page indictment charging 11 defendants with bank fraud, money laundering and operating illegal gambling businesses.
April 20, 2011
Who wants to bet that the recent federal crackdown on Internet poker sites won't stop Americans from playing poker online for money? Federal agents seized the websites of three of the world's most popular online poker companies Friday, indicted 11 of their executives and associates, and filed a lawsuit seeking at least $3 billion in penalties. It was the most extensive enforcement action taken by the government since Congress enacted a law in 2006 to prohibit banks, credit-card companies and others in the financial industry from processing online gambling transactions.