The Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) of Costa Rica raided several residences and offices tied to Absolute Poker company executives after getting a search warrant against them. The raids were conducted to arrest Absolute Poker executive Scott Tom, Olman Rimola, the owner of Innovative Data Solutions (IDS) and another man who was unidentified for accusations of bank fraud and money laundering in relation to the Black Friday events.

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Of the 11 men who were accused four were presumably living or tied to Costa Rica, these men are Scott Tom, Brent Beckley, Bradley Franzen and Ira Rubin. All four men have now been arrested.

The US poker defendants were charged with creating an elaborate fraud scheme and tricking US banks into processing illegal transactions and bribing some of them as well.

After the establishment of the UIGEA in 2006, many US poker companies were looking for ways to deal with their businesses within the United States. Many of them were not willing to let go of their US poker profits that they made from this multi-billion dollar online poker industry in the US.

Allegedly, these poker companies went in for fraudulent methods to get around these federal laws by tricking US banks and leading them to believe that they are processing transactions of sports websites and other such merchant sites. Defendants Isai Scheinberg and Paul Tate of PokerStars, Raymond Bitar and Nelson Burtnick of Full Tilt Poker, and Scott Tom and Brent Beckley of Absolute Poker, are being accused of making the money received from US online gamblers seem like payments to hundreds of non-existent online merchants that sold golf balls and jewellery. Of all the transactions that were processed more than one third of the money went directly to the poker companies as revenue for every poker hand played online. Some of the defendants associated with PokerStars are still missing.

If it were a question of just providing for US poker players and letting them play poker online by ignoring UIGEA laws, these poker sites would have gotten off the hook. However, since the allegations now involve an elaborate fraudulent scheme that they had planned intentionally to earn more, these allegations of bank fraud and money laundering and serious enough to put them behind bars for a very long time.

However, how these events affect the fate of online poker in the United States is still in question, since it has brought out the clear favoritism shown by US poker players towards the legalization of online pokers in the US.

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