Online Poker

US Govt. Seizes $24 Million from Bodog

by AintLuck.com Poker Team

Note: Please read an update on this story as of July 31, 2008: Bodog Seizure Update

It has been reported that the US government has seized around $24 Million from bank accounts linked to Bodog, the large online gaming company once owned by business mogul, Calvin Ayre. The report from Forbes indicates that there is a serious ongoing criminal investigation into the business of Bodog.

Detailed filings in a Baltimore court indicate seizures from financial institutions such as Bank of America, Wachovia, Sun Trust Banks, and Regions Financial. The US government is thought to have been after Ayre for quite some time as the Bodog founder is thought to have broken US online gaming law. Currently, the only federal law on the books against Internet gaming is the UIGEA, which forbids financial institutions from processing gaming transactions and the 1961 Wire Act which states that sports betting can not be done over a phone line. Whether Ayre has been accused of breaking these laws is yet to be determined. Bodog has accepted US bets for sports for quite some time, so it is assumed that these are the funds the US government are after. Is online poker legal in the US?

Court papers indicated that $14.2 Million was seized in January and February of 2008 from accounts in the name of JBL Services and Transaction Solutions at Wachovia, Regions Bank, Bank of America and Sun Trust Bank. Another almost $10 Million was found in accounts at the Nevada State Bank, a unit of Zion Bancorporation, with the name Zaftig Instantly Processed Payments, doing business as ZipPayments.com. These companies are thought to have helped the Bodog operation.

The IRS has had their eye on Bodog since 2003 and officially opened a probe in 2006. Since that time, investigators have closely examined the banking operations of Bodog recruiting informants and undercover agents to investigate the business processes of the company.

On of the undercover agents received a check from Bodog back in May of 2008 which did not bounce from an account at the Nevada State Bank. The agent was a undercover operative from another state’s gaming commission. This lead investigators to the nearly $10 Million in funds.

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