Seven busted for allegedly circumventing UIGEA

The Associated Press is reporting seven people and four companies have been indicted on charges of processing fraudulent credit card and wire transfers to online gaming sites outside the U.S.

The 34-count indictment was laid down in Salt Lake City, Utah, where two of the companies involved are based, and accuses the defendants of transferring over $150 million to offshore Internet gambling Web sites in violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

Charged, according to AP, are payment processing firm CurrenC, Ltd. of the British Virgin Islands, Utah-based Gateway Technologies and Hill Financial Services, and Canadian-registered BetUS.com.

"Individuals and businesses that facilitate illegal Internet gambling are violating numerous federal and state laws," said U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman in a statement to the press.

"Payment processors who attempt to hide the true nature of the transactions they are conducting and the Internet gambling Web sites that use these payment processors will be prosecuted and brought to justice."

The indictment claims the companies intentionally misclassified credit card transactions to banks, allowing gamblers to place offshore bets from the U.S., and wired money through the Philippines as well.

Defendants are scheduled to make a court appearance May 30.

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