According to Business Insider, indicted Aussie payment processor Daniel Tzvetkoff may be the engine behind today’s online poker site seizures and Federal indictment. Tzvetkoff was arrested a year ago in Las Vegas and released on bail in September.
His business reportedly consisted of payments for “repayments of short-term loans, transfer of funds to prepaid debit cards, and e-commerce purchases” rather than online poker transactions. In an article from May 2009, it was revealed that Intabill, Tzvetkoff’s company, allegedly owed $25 million to Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, $3 million to Absolute Poker, and another $2 million to Golden Palace.
In June 2009, Kolyma Corporation AVV and BT Projects filed suit against Intabill for $52 million. According to Business Insider, Tzvetkoff was pulling in as much as $150,000 per day. At its height, Intabill had over 5,000 customers until it all came crumbling down.
So what happened in recent weeks?
Business Insider explains that the tables may have been turned on the online poker industry: “Last April, Tzvetkoff was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with the same crimes those sites founders were charged with today: money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud. As an Australian citizen with a lot of wealth, he was considered a flight risk and denied bail. Then after a ‘secret’ meeting with prosecutors, he was suddenly out on bail. And now, his former colleagues are the ones facing serious jail time.”
The same news outlet labeled U.S. District Attorney Arlo Devlin-Brown as Tzvetkoff’s “handler” and quoted a source as saying, “He knows how to reverse-engineer transactions to determine its original source.” About 75 bank accounts in 14 countries were affected by today’s Department of Justice action.
As if all that weren’t enough, it appears that PokerStars and Full Tilt could have tipped off the FBI as to Tzvetkoff’s whereabouts, leading to his arrest in the first place.
Dragging PokerStars further into the fray seemed to be a 2009 letter that the Justice Department sourced. In its statement issued on Friday, the Department of Justice explained the rumored money laundering scheme: “[A] PokerStars document from May 2009 acknowledged that they received money from U.S. gamblers through company names that ‘strongly imply the transaction has nothing to do with PokerStars,’ and that PokerStars used whatever company names ‘the processor can get approved by the bank.’”
Among those commenting on Friday was Full Tilt Poker pro Tom “durrrr” Dwan, who explained via Twitter, “Clearly it makes sense to seize Stars n Tilt n UB at the same time b/c 2 of those companies are providing a service while trying to operate in a market which the DoJ is (anti-constitutionally) making it difficult to operate in, and one of them is a complete fraud of a company.”
On the cashout side of the coin, Dwan noted, “I wouldn’t be too worried about FTP/Stars $$. I would shit myself abt UB/Cake etc… I’d guess FTP/Stars is worth more than 93c on the $ (almost 100% u get paid but could take 2-3mnths n worst case more).”
Cake Poker and Bodog appear to be accessible as normal today.
Keep checking back with Poker News Daily for the latest developments.