The US federal government has nabbed Ira Rubin, one of the 11 people associated with the world’s largest online poker rooms Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker who are indicted with multiple crimes such as money laundering, illegal online gambling, and bank fraud, among others. Rubin was arrested in Guatemala.
Bloomberg.com states that Rubin has been accused on a total of 9 counts, including violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) 2006, operating illegal gaming businesses, wire and bank fraud, and money laundering. On Wednesday, Rubin appeared in a Miami court and stated that he had hired a New York based lawyer on Friday, but does not know whether the lawyer has received his fees, adding that he has been unable to make phone calls from Monday.
It turned out that Stuart Meissner, the attorney hired by Rubin, had not received his fees, owing to which the judge re-scheduled the hearing for April 29, giving Rubin time to find an attorney to represent him. Rubin also has a hearing scheduled on May 2. Currently, he is in the Miami Federal Detention Centre.
The US federal government had indicted founder operators and chief executives of PokerStars, Absolute Poker, and Full Tilt Poker with bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal online gambling on Friday. A total of 11 people, including Paul Tate and Isai Scheinberg of PokerStars, Nelson Burtnick and Ray Bitar of Full Tilt Poker, Brent Beckley and Scott Tom of Absolute Poker, along with John Campos, Ryan Lang, Ira Rubin, Bradley Frazen, and Chad Elie, who were associated with various payment processors were indicted.
Elie and Campos were arrested on Friday in Utah and Las Vegas, respectively. Rubin was recently arrested in Guatemala. The rest are yet to be arrested, and the DOJ has collaborated with the Interpol to get the rest of the 11 arrested as early as possible.
According to the indictment, the online poker service providers collaborated and conspired with various payment processors to fool US banks into moving gambling-related funds between gambling accounts and checking accounts. If proved to be guilty, the indicted will face at least 5 years of imprisonment, penalties of $250k or double the amount lost or won, with 3 years monitored release. The DOJ is now seeking to recover $3 billion in penalties from the three companies.
Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars have ever since withdrawn real money poker services from the US market.