Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The fight isn't over...

but at least we're getting our money back:

As Part of Agreements, Use of Domain Names and Will Be Restored to Facilitate Return of U.S.
Player Funds

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced today that the United
States entered into domain-name use agreements with PokerStars
and Full Tilt Poker, two of three online poker companies named as
defendants in an April 15 civil money laundering and forfeiture
Complaint (the "Civil Complaint"), alleging bank fraud, wire
fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses. The
Complaint, a related Indictment, and a related Restraining Order
issued against multiple bank accounts utilized by the companies
and their payment processors do not prohibit the companies from
refunding players’ money. Nevertheless, this agreement will
facilitate the return of money so that players can register their
refund requests directly with Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: "On April
15th, this Office and the FBI took specific legal action against
11 individuals who allegedly engaged not merely in the operation
of illegal gambling businesses, but in massive wire fraud, bank
fraud, and money laundering, despite repeated warnings and clear
notice that their conduct was illegal in the United States. No
individual player accounts were ever frozen or restrained, and
each implicated poker company has at all times been free to
reimburse any player's deposited funds. In fact, this Office
expects the companies to return the money that U.S. players
entrusted to them, and we will work with the poker companies to
facilitate the return of funds to players, as today’s agreements
with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker demonstrate."

Under the terms of the agreements with PokerStars and
Full Tilt Poker, the companies agreed that they would not allow
for, facilitate, or provide the ability for players located in
the United States to engage in playing online poker for "real
money" or any other thing of value. The agreements allow for
PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to use the and domain names to facilitate the withdrawal of
U.S. players’ funds held in account with the companies. The
deposit of funds by U.S. players is expressly prohibited. In
addition, the agreements do not prohibit, and, in fact, expressly
allow for, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to provide for, and
facilitate, players outside of the United States to engage in
playing online poker for real money. The agreements also require
the appointment of an independent Monitor to verify PokerStars’
and Full Tilt Poker’s compliance with the agreements. The
Government stands to enter the same agreement with Absolute Poker
if it so chooses.

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