The indictments were announced yesterday by U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and representatives from the Internal Revenue Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations.
Named in the indictments are two internet gambling businesses, as well as three individuals. The first indictment charges British Columbia, Canada business ThrillX Systems, Ltd and its principles Darren Wright and David Parchomchuk. The second set of charges names Costa Rican businesses K23 Group Financial Services and BMX Entertainment as well as principle Anne Marie Puig.
As a result of these indictments the U.S. Attorney's office has moved to seize ten domains associated with these businesses. These include Doylesroom.com, Bookmaker.com, 2Betsdi.com, Funtimebingo.com, Goldenarchcasino.com, Truepoker.com, Betmaker.com, Betgrandesports.com, Betehorse.com and Beted.com.
“It is illegal for internet gambling enterprises to do business in Maryland, regardless of where the website operator is located,” said Rosenstein. “We cannot allow foreign website operators to flout the law simply because their headquarters are based outside the country.”
Rosenstein went on to explain that the charges are a result of a collaborative investigation by multiple government organizations.
The operation involved setting up an undercover payment processing company to gain person-to-person contact with top managers of gambling organizations, as well as informants setting up accounts and conducting gambling activities.
IRS Special Agent in Charge Rebecca A. Sparkman, also present at the announcement, emphasized that the prosecution of illegal gambling and money laundering remains a high priority for the U.S. Government.
“Laundering money from illegal activity such as illegal internet gambling is a crime. Regardless of how the money changes hands - via cash, check, wire transfers or credit cards - and regardless of where the money is stored - in a United States financial institution or an offshore bank - we will trace the funds," said Sparkman. "IRS Criminal Investigation will vigorously investigate and recommend prosecution against the owners and operators of these illegal enterprises to the fullest extent possible.”
In addition to seizing internet domains, the indictments also seek the fortfeiture of bank accounts used to process the illegal transactions.