Now here is a story that shows our tax money at work. From the New York Post: FEDS FREEZE $30M IN ONLINE POKER STASHES. In capital letters as only the Post can do it.
"The banks where accounts appear to have been frozen were Citibank, Goldwater and Alliance banks in Arizona, and a Wells Fargo bank in San Francisco.Bravo! Let's see, we've got fraud, embezzlement, terrorism funding, drug money, and the most important federal crime of all - online poker. We've got Marc Drier, Bernard Madoff, Jim Nicholson, and Joe, the online poker player.
In letters to Alliance, the feds targeted accounts held by payment processor Allied Systems Inc. The government said the accounts are legally subject to seizure and forfeiture "because they constitute property involved in money-laundering transactions and illegal gambling offenses," according to one letter"
From the Washington Post:
"Ponzi operations have been collapsing at a record clip, exposing prolific, rampant and colossal frauds that have bilked investors of billions of dollars. The FBI, which is handling about 20 such cases in the Washington region, has almost 500 open Ponzi investigations nationwide"Now let's divert some agents to chase online poker players and freeze their accounts at banks that are already struggling? Nice to see our tax resources being put to good use!
Of course we all know where this is coming from, right? It's the gaming industry in the US trying to keep the online gaming from taking hold here. The traditional gaming has been struggling lately and the online guys are encroaching on their turf. Got to go to Vegas to play poker, and that's how the gaming industry lobby wants to keep it. But don't worry about a thing, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) will take them on. From PPA:
June 9th, 2009
By Poker Players Alliance
update from John Pappas, PPA Executive Director (06/11/09):
The PPA knows how concerned all of you are about the recent actions taken by the United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York in freezing funds from some payment processors for online poker. The PPA wants to take this opportunity to do two things: (1) clear up the misconceptions about what was done and its implications, and (2) talk to you about what the Poker Players Alliance is doing to protect your right to play poker. Please accept my apology in advance if this is Too Much Information, but given the misinformation out there, I think Too Much is far preferable to Not Enough.