American Poker Fans Out of Luck

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Photos from guardian.co.uk

In efforts to delve deeper into the illegal activities suspected of several online poker outfits, FBI officials have been keeping their eye on some of the most notorious companies with good reason. Rated as some of the best online poker sites by players worldwide, Absolute Poker, Full Tilt and Poker Stars Poker representatives were among the top suspects for illicit conduct.

Among 11 other suspects charged for crimes related to online card games, Bradley Franzen was tried for his connection to illegal internet gambling which included laundering of money and bank fraud. Franzen’s guilty plea was recorded in May of 2011 after previously denying all charges. His illicit activities included arranging for money received from online gambling outfits to be processed through fraudulent companies that purportedly sold watches, golf items, and environmentally conscious products, to name a few. Franzen’s role was primarily in laundering assets produced by online gambling. He will be required to pay a large sum of money in fines, however, it is expected that he will receive a less severe sentencing for cooperation with FBI agents and the department of justice throughout the trials.

One of the more popular online gambling companies, Full Tilt, has been associated with Bradley Franzen’s illicit activities and has for that reason been shut down. Since Franzen’s change to a plea of guilt, information regarding the nature of his exploits have become public. This has come to include the unfortunate fact that Full Tilt has approximately $60 million dollar deficit, which understandably alarmed players connected to the site.

After players in the United States attempted to take legal action against Full Tilt, regulators of the license on Alderny in the Channel Islands have responded by revoking the license and any claim that the preserve the integrity of transactions on the site. Although rumors have been circulating regarding new bidders for Full Tilt, it is likely that the department of justice will regulate any further operation of the site, so a speedy recovery is not expected. Until then American players will continue to be blocked from monetary participation while those outside of the United States may continue to play.

The shut down of Poker Stars had a similar impact on the online gambling community. Chad Elie was arrested in relation to money laundering for US players. Additionally, Elie is said to have involved destitute banks by offering large sums of money for bank officials to turn a blind eye to the processing of poker funds. In one such case a bank is suspected of managing as much as $200 million in payments before they were stopped.

Miraculously, after Chad Elie’s arrest he was released on $250,000 bail, which he paid himself. Elie reportedly married playboy playmate Destiny Davis shortly after his release and has since failed to proceed with any admissions of guilt on accusations related to either online gaming outfits.

Until the Department of Justice makes a solid ruling on any of the allegedly corrupt online gambling outfits, it is likely that American players will not see the return of any of these sites for some time.

Jamie Lewis writes for TexasHoldemOnline.com where you can play poker for real money and learn more about the best poker sites on the web.

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