Daniel Tzvetkoff may be the engine behind today’s online poker site seizures and Federal indictment. Daniel Tzvetkoff was arrested about year ago in Las Vegas. He was eventually released on bail in September. Tzvetkoff’s business was consisted of payments for repayments on short term loans, funds that were transferred to prepaid debit cards & purchases via e-commerce instead of online poker transactions. In 2009 it was made public that Tzvetkoff’s company called Intabill supposedly owed a whopping amount of $25 million Pokerstars & Full Tilt Poker. He also allegedly owed $3 million to Absolute Poker & $2 million to Golden Palace.

There was a lawsuit filed in June 2009 against Intabill by BT Projects & Kolyma Corporation AVV in the amount of $52 million. It was reported that Tzvetkoff was making a little over $150,000 each day. In Intabill’s prime, they had well over 5,000 customers. That is alot of money when you do the math. A little over a year ago, April 2010 Tzvetkoff was arrested in Las Vegas. He was charged with the same crimes as the founders of Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker & Absolute Poker on April 15, 2011. Those crimes include money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud. You can view the indictment http://makepokerlegal.com/blog/2011/04/16/complete-doj-indictment-on-full-tilt-pokerstars-and-absolute-poker-released



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Daniel Tzvetkoff was considered as a flight risk due to the fact that he was wealthy as well as a citizen of Australia. It was reported that Daniel Tzvetkoff had a meeting with prosecutors that was kept a secret and was released on bail. It is a “coincidence” that the founders of Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker & Absolute Poker are facing the same crimes and extensive jail time. It is also reported that Full Tilt Poker & Pokerstars gave information about Tzvetkoff location in Las Vegas which lead to his arrest. Maybe Tzvetkoff is getting his revenge. It is no secret that you can get off charges if you cooperate and give information for the justice system to “get the bigger fish” (no pun intended).  Stay tuned to MakePokerLegal.com for the latest news regarding this turn in events.

There is good news for poker players in the Unites States. Our poker room remains open for all players. This is one of very few online poker sites that can still be played & will always be legal to play for US players. All banks will accept payments from the poker room. It easy and takes a couple of minutes to register. For full details simply go to Make Poker Legal Poker Room

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UPDATES are posted at the bottom of this blog

Federal prosecutors today unsealed a sweeping indictment against Isai Scheinberg and Raymond Bitar, founders of the world’s biggest online poker companies, and moved to try to shut down their businesses. The indictment filed by Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, charges Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars, and Bitar, the founder of Full Tilt Poker, as well as nine other individuals, accusing them of operating illegal gambling businesses. Federal prosecutors also filed a civil lawsuit seeking $3 billion in civil money laundering penalties, alleging the online poker companies disguised money they received from U.S. poker players as payments to online merchants selling jewelry and golf balls.

The U.S. Attorney in Manhattan moved to try to shut down the online poker business in America by seizing five Internet domain names, including pokerstars.com and fulltiltpoker.com, used by the three main companies facilitating online poker games in the U.S. In addition, a federal judge issued a restraining order against 76 bank accounts in 14 countries utilized by those online poker firms. The indictment sets up a complicated global legal battle between the Department of Justice and the online poker entrepreneurs who have long argued that their operations in the U.S. do not violate U.S. law. Indeed, in recent days, one of the nation’s most prominent casino billionaires, Steve Wynn, announced a strategic relationship with PokerStars and said “in the United States of America the Justice Department has an opinion but several states have ruled and courts have agreed that poker is a game of skill, it’s not gambling. PokerStars rests their argument on that.”

But in a 51-page indictment filed in federal court in Manhattan, federal prosecutors allege that PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, “used fraudulent methods to avoid restrictions and to receive billions of dollars from United States residents who gambled.” The indictment largely focuses on financial transactions, claiming the online poker companies violated a 2006 law that Congress passed to cut off the flow of cash to online gambling companies, saying the firms “deceived or directed others to deceive United States banks and financial institutions into processing billions of dollars in payments.”

Here is the complete Department of Justice Indictment regarding the seizure of Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker & Absolute Poker Domains and the blocking of these domains for poker players in the USA.

UPDATE

- Full Tilt’s Onyx Cup has been cancelled at least temporarily but most likely forever. Full Tilt Poker has not yet released any official statement regarding the Onyx Cup

- ESPN has removed the PokerStars sponsored “Inside Dea”l from the ESPN.com website. Nothing official has came from the network yet. The ESPN Poker Club which was powered by PokerStars is no longer available.

There is good news for poker players in the Unites States. Our poker room remains open for all players.  This is one of very few online poker sites that can still be played & will always be legal to play for US players. All banks will accept payments from the poker room. It easy and takes a couple of minutes to register. For full details simply go to Make Poker Legal Poker Room

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Optimal-Payments-PLC-Neteller

Optimal Payments PLC

The ownership behind the payment processor Neteller officially announced several changes, including the name of the company.

NEOVIA Financial PLC formally announced on Friday that the Companies Registry of the Isle of Man had approved its name change. Effective immediately, the company formerly known as NEOVIA will now be called Optimal Payments PLC. In addition to the name change, several aspects of the company will be altered.

Optimal Payments will now be traded on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker “OPAY” instead of the old “NEO.” This change took place at the start of trading on Monday morning. In addition, Optimal Payments has opened a new corporate website.

The reason for the name change was explained on the corporate site. “In January 2011, NEOVIA Financial PLC announced the acquisition of Optimal Payments,” the statement begins. “With the acquisition of Optimal Payments, we created a truly international player in card and alternative payments. The combination of our online consumer payment account business, Neteller, our existing NetBANX payment processing business, and the Optimal merchant account and card processing business has brought together an unparalleled comprehensive offering for our customers.”

The company has a long history in the online world, opening up its e-wallet service Neteller in 1999 after operating NetBANX since 1996. The company, under the Neteller name, went public in 2004 and was used as a popular e-wallet option for American online poker players. After legislation in the United States was passed, the company suffered a few hardships.

When the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) came to life in 2006, one of the companies targeted was Neteller. Due to the company’s alleged processing of payments to and from online poker rooms, U.S. Department of Justice officials pursued it. This resulted in the arrest of two of its founders, who were Canadian citizens, in 2007 and the company stopped processing payments for American online gamblers. The issues between NEOVIA and the U.S. were resolved in 2009 with the dismissal of a complaint against the company.

Neovia Financial

In 2008, the company re-christened itself NEOVIA in an attempt to re-brand as more than an online gaming payment processing operation. Under the NEOVIA banner, the company acquired Optimal Payments, which lead to the name change late last week.

Although its name has changed, Optimal Payments still sports the same online options that have been offered throughout its history. In addition to Neteller and NetBANX, Optimal Payments also offers the Net+ card, a debit card that can be preloaded or connected to a person’s bank account. Through these services, Optimal Payments covers 180 nations around the world.

Neteller is still a viable payment option for people who aren’t located in the United States. Many of the top online gaming companies in the industry that still accept American action, including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and the CEREUS Network, accept Neteller from players outside of the U.S. In addition to these U.S.-facing operations, such sites as PartyPoker, 888, Everest Poker, and Mansion Poker actively use the Neteller deposit option.

 

Source: Optimal Payments PLC

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