Who Is Responsible for the FBI Attacks on Online Poker?

April 21, 2011

It has been rumored that the main suspect who is behind the online poker site indictments and domain seizures last week is 28-year-old Australian payment processor Daniel Tzvetkoff. Tzvetkoff was arrested last year by the FBI for participating in the processing of more than $500 million in illegal online poker transactions for the top online poker sites over a two-year span.

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Tzvetkoff was facing up to 75 years in prison, but it is believed that he may have cut a deal, so that he may take a lighter sentence or trade his freedom for informing the FBI of the illegal money transactions.

US District Attorney Arlo Devlin-Brown says, “He knows how to reverse-engineer transactions to determine its original source.”

And on April 15, 2011, US Southern District of New York indicted founders of Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker with charges of money laundering, illegal gambling, and bank fraud. In addition, 76 bank accounts, along with the five domain names of the aforementioned poker sites were seized. The companies are furthermore accused of camouflaging gambling payments from USA players as “payments to hundreds of non-existent online merchants purporting to sell merchandise such as jewelry and golf balls.”

It has also been alleged that Tzvetkoff was using Intabill (his payment processing company) to process more than $500 million in transactions for the major Internet poker sites. Now he’s purportedly exposing the goings on of their organizations to the FBI.

If this is all true, Tzvetkoff may have single handedly been responsible for changing online poker as we know it, and though it will never be the same, new online poker rooms will move in to take the place of those now shut out of the US market are downgraded to PartyPoker status because he 15 million online poker players in the US will still play online poker and the billions of dollars that US players spend on online poker will still be reserved for just that.


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