State of Washington Seizes $553K From Online Payment Processor
02 November 2010
It didn’t take long after the Sept. 23rd decision by the state of Washington’s Supreme Court that their ban on online gambling did not violate the U.S. Constitution for their federal prosecutors to seize $553,000 from Secure Money, Inc.
Prosecutors asked a U.S. District Court judge to order the balance of 6 bank accounts they say are associated with the Canadian company to be forfeited to the government. According to a civil complaint filed on October, Secure Money, Inc. was paying payments to online poker players and labeling them as “payroll” checks.
In court documents, 7 Washington residents was said to have received payments through Secure Money, Inc. In January 2009, an undercover agent with the state Gambling Commission began playing at Ultimate Bet. In July he requested a payment of $200 and received a check from Secure Money, Inc.
Assistant U.S. Attorney said in the civil complaint:
Secure Money, Inc. distributed checks on behalf of illegal websites that host gambling activity. Processing checks that represent the funds derived from illegal gambling … constitutes a violation of the money laundering provisions.
The Poker Player’s Alliance executive director John Pappas is working on appealing the law. Pappas believes that a legislative route is the best chance to overturn the law and not go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“It would be a big challenge just to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear it, and then if they did hear it I don’t know if there’s enough on record for a decision the PPA and its members would like,” Pappas said.
Currently in this case, a seizure warrant has been issued but so far there has been no criminal charges filed.
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