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7 indicted on Internet gambling charges, 4 companies named

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by Mousey, May 12, 2007.

    May 12, 2007
  1. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    Anyone still wondering why casinos are having problems processing payouts?? :rolleyes: I find this piece rather disturbing...

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    7 indicted on Internet gambling charges, 4 companies named Fri May 11, 5:36 PM ET


    Seven people and four companies were indicted on charges of conspiring to violate a US ban on Internet gambling by disguising the credit card charges, officials said Friday.

    Those charged include a Canadian-based sport betting firm and a company based in the British Virgin Islands, according to the US Department of Justice.

    The 34-count indictment handed down in Salt Lake City, Utah, said the defendants ran a scheme to circumvent a US law passed last year that prohibits US banks and credit card companies from processing Internet bets.

    The indictment alleges that the defendants facilitated the payment of more than 150 million dollars to Internet gambling websites in violation of a US ban on online betting.

    The companies named included the payment processing firms CurrenC, Ltd.of the British Virgin Islands and Utah-based Gateway Technologies and Hill Financial Services; along with the Canadian-registered wagering site BetUS.

    "Virtually all Internet gambling is illegal" under US law, US Attorney Brett Tolman said in announcing the indictments.

    "Individuals and businesses that facilitate illegal Internet gambling are violating numerous federal and state laws. Payment processors who attempt to hide the true nature of the transactions they are conducting and the Internet gambling websites that use these payment processors will be prosecuted and brought to justice."

    The defendants are charged with racketeering conspiracy, bank fraud, violations of the wire-wager act and money laundering.

    US authorities are also seeking forfeiture of 150 million dollars as well as real estate, vehicles and funds in numerous bank accounts.

    Investigators said the scheme "purposefully misclassified credit card transactions to fool banks into processing Internet gambling charges" and thus allowed bettors in the US to spend money on the gambling websites.

    According to the indictment, the funds were wired through Western Union to people in the Philippines who were associated with the defendants and then transferred back to the gaming sites through a service the operators called "the Gateway."

    Some of the charges carry criminal penalties of up to 30 years in prison.

    The individuals charged in the indictment are seven people from Las Vegas identified as Baron Lombardo, 46; Richard Carson-Selman, 51; Henry Bankey, 49; Francisco Lombardo, 52; Count Lombardo, 43; Tina Hill, 32; and Kimberlie Lombardo, 43.
     
    5 people like this.
  2. May 12, 2007
  3. cynthial

    cynthial Boo

    Occupation:
    Fireproofing
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    :eek:
    I think it is starting to raid turds.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. May 12, 2007
  5. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Here's a somewhat more detailed report than the AP report above (see below).

    Coincidentally, Optimal parent of Firepay issued a fuzzy sort of press release yesterday on their "discussions" with the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York.

    The release says they are "...responding to a voluntary request for information issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    "In connection with such ongoing investigation, Optimal has received a copy of warrants of seizure issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office against funds of certain payment processors on deposit with two U.S. banks. These funds include monies on deposit to the credit of Company affiliates, namely, approximately $4.2 million that FirePay Limited has on deposit in a reserve account and approximately $15 million that Optimal Payments has on deposit in a money market account.

    "Through counsel, the Company has been assured by the U.S. Attorney's Office that the issuance of the warrants does not impact in any way upon discussions between the Company and the U.S. Attorney's Office, nor upon any eventual outcome of those discussions."

    Sounds to me like there could also be some "save your skin by disclosing information on some of your former merchants!"

    Here's that information on the Utah charges:

    Betus and other online gambling indictments

    A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City returned a 34-count indictment Wednesday afternoon charging seven individuals and four companies with conspiring to violate laws prohibiting Internet gambling, U.S. Attorney Brett L. Tolman for the District of Utah, and Special Agent in Charge Wes Eddy of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division's Las Vegas Field Office said.

    The indictment, unsealed on May 10, 2007, alleges the defendants operated a business that helped Internet gambling websites to disguise credit card charges for gambling as charges for something else, thereby deceiving credit card issuers who otherwise would not have authorized the transactions.

    The indictment also alleges the defendants' businesses assisted Internet gambling websites by arranging fund transfers between bettors in the United States and various Internet gambling websites using Western Union wire transfers.

    One Internet gambling website, BetUS, is also charged with conspiring with the individuals named in the indictment. According to BetUS's website, BetUS provides internet based sports and casino gambling.

    During the course of their conspiracy, the indictment alleges that the defendants facilitated the payment of more than $150 million to illegal Internet gambling websites.

    Charged in the indictment are Baron Lombardo, 46, of Las Vegas; Richard Carson-Selman, 51, of Las Vegas; Henry G. Bankey, 49, of Las Vegas; Francisco Lombardo a.k.a. Frank Lombardo, 52, of Las Vegas; Count C. Lombardo, 43, of Las Vegas; Tina I. Hill, 32, of Sandy, Utah and Las Vegas; Kimberlie Lombardo a.k.a. Kittie Lombardo, 43, of Las Vegas; CurrenC, Ltd., also known as CurrenC WorldWide, LTD., of Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Gateway Technologies, LLC., of Draper, Utah; Hill Financial Services, Inc., of Draper, Utah, and Las Vegas; and BetUS of Kanawahke, Canada.

    "Virtually all Internet gambling is illegal. Individuals and businesses that facilitate illegal Internet gambling are violating numerous federal and state laws," U.S. Attorney Brett L. Tolman said.

    "Payment processors who attempt to hide the true nature of the transactions they are conducting and the Internet gambling websites that use these payment processors will be prosecuted and brought to justice."

    "Internet gambling, along with other types of 'illegal e-commerce,' are areas of interest to IRS Criminal Investigation," IRS Special Agent in Charge Eddy said.

    "Laundering money from illegal activity such as illegal internet gambling is a crime. Regardless of how the money changes hands-via cash, check, wire transfers or credit cards-and regardless of where the money is stored-in a United States financial institution or an off shore bank-we will trace the funds and seize them.

    "IRS Criminal Investigation will vigorously investigate and prosecute the owners and operators of these illegal enterprises to the fullest extent possible."

    The defendants are charged with RICO conspiracy, bank fraud, violations of the wire-wager act, and money laundering. In addition to the criminal charges, the indictment also contains a forfeiture provision seeking forfeiture of $150 million as well as real estate, vehicles, and funds in numerous bank accounts.

    The indictment alleges the individual defendants and three related businesses, CurrenC, LTD, also known as CurrenC Worldwide LTD; Gateway Technologies, LLC; Hill Financial Services, as well as BetUS, conspired to promote illegal Internet gambling in the United States.

    The indictment alleges the defendants operated a payment processing business that catered to illegal Internet gambling businesses. As a part of their payment processing services, the indictment alleges that the defendants purposefully misclassified credit card transactions to fool banks into processing Internet gambling charges; collected monies transferred from bettors in the United States via credit card transactions; and transferred the collected funds to various Internet gambling web site operators.

    The indictment further alleges that the purpose of the defendants' business was to help gambling websites have their transactions approved by Visa and MasterCard issuing banks, which would not knowingly authorize Internet gambling transactions.

    The indictment alleges that the defendants also conspired to offer their illegal Internet gambling websites another payment processing option through Western Union wire transfers. According to the indictment, the defendants caused the illegal Internet gambling website's customers to wire funds through Western Union to people in the Philippines who were associated with the defendants. The defendants then caused these associates in the Philippines to transfer funds to accounts controlled by the defendants.

    In order to operate their illegal payment processing business, the indictment alleges the defendants created a website they called "the Gateway." The Gateway was an automated collector and processor of illegal Internet gambling funding transactions. The indictment alleges that the defendants caused the Gateway to misclassify the transactions to Visa and MasterCard, representing that the transactions were for something other than gambling. In this manner, the defendants assisted illegal Internet gambling websites in having their gambling transactions authorized by Visa and MasterCard issuing banks.

    The indictment further alleges that the defendants used offshore accounts to receive the proceeds of their payment processing business. The defendants then caused this money to be transferred to their client websites. For their services, the defendants collected per-transaction fees from their clients.

    The defendants allegedly transferred their proceeds to businesses in the United States that they owned and controlled, including Gateway Technologies and Hill Financial.

    The defendants are also accused of using trusts, including Bablcom Domestic Non Grantor Insurance Trust, Landbaron Ultra Trust, Behnke Domestic Non Grantor Insurance Trust, Lime Light Domestic Non Grantor Insurance Trust and Red Dogg Ultra Trust, to conceal their profits from their illegal payment processing business. The defendants then used the funds transferred to trust bank accounts to make investments and to buy real property, cars, and other personal property.

    None of the defendants are in custody at this time.

    Richard Carson-Selman was arrested on May 10, 2007, in Las Vegas. He had an initial appearance in Las Vegas yesterday and was released on conditions under the supervision of pre-trial services.

    Baron Lombardo will self-surrender in Las Vegas today and will have an initial appearance.

    All of the defendants are scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 30, at 10a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Warner.

    The potential maximum penalties for the counts in the indictment include 20 years for racketeering conspiracy; 30 years for bank fraud; two years for transmission of wagers/wagering information; and 20 years for money laundering.

    Defendants charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.

    The case is being investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Loren Washburn of the District of Utah and trial attorney Marty Woelfle of the Criminal Division's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section.
     
    8 people like this.
  6. May 12, 2007
  7. lojo

    lojo Banned User - repetitive violations of <a href="ht

    Occupation:
    Tradesman
    Location:
    USA
    reading

    edit: leon, eddy and donovan. KMMFDA, and evey ass of any one in the world who wants to play. Go getcher goombas, eff U.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2007
  8. May 12, 2007
  9. dominique

    dominique Dormant account

    Occupation:
    webmistress
    Location:
    The Boonies
    That seems to be the general theme with neteller also.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. May 12, 2007
  11. lojo

    lojo Banned User - repetitive violations of <a href="ht

    Occupation:
    Tradesman
    Location:
    USA
    My point is eff the dolts. There's a break line somewhere, and it sure as hell is not the average player. Cahoots is cahoots in any industry (howard hughs).

    I don't give a bleedin flip if some super Orwellian 'law' wants to touch my freedom, or play.
     
  12. May 12, 2007
  13. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    Thanks for the additional details, Jetset. :thumbsup:

    All of this just totally creeps me out. :eek2: The DoJ just seems to be so damned rabid about online gambling... Their passion for prosecuting (and extorting millions from) these companies and individuals seems totally out of whack with the severity of the 'crime'.
     
    2 people like this.
  14. May 12, 2007
  15. oldtrvlagt

    oldtrvlagt Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Self Employed Travel Agent
    Location:
    Iowa
    Actually, I'm not a radical person and after 30 years in the travel business I HATE confrontations, however, my personal opinion is that the U.S. government has gone WAY overboard on online gaming. I can go and blow as much money as my bank card will allow me at a state run or indian casino but God forbid if I want to play $20 on Thunderstruck online. They are not protecting me, the citizen, by outlawing internet gambling, they are trying to give the IRS as much money as they can squeeze out. My personal opinion of course but it bites.:mad:
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. May 12, 2007
  17. lots0

    lots0 Banned User - troll posts - flaming PABnonaccred

    Occupation:
    I do nothing productive
    Location:
    Hell on Earth
    I don't know if any of you are keeping up with what is currently going on at the US Justice Department.

    It now appears based on a current investigation that Bush and company have been filling all the jobs (including Interns) at the Justice Dept. with extremely radical conservative christian republicans for the last three or four years, most of the new Attorney hires are graduates of the Regent University School of Law, founded by televangelist Pat Robertson to provide "Christian leadership to change the world,". Regent Law school is a third rate law school, no respectable private law office would hire a graduate of Regent.

    Of course filling jobs at the justice department based on the political and religious beliefs of the people you are hiring is against the law... But then Bush and his cronies are way above the Law... Or so they think.

    The fact that these charges come out of Salt Lake City is no surprise, the US Attorney in Salt Lake is one of the Bush administrations favorite radical christian prosecutors (and he sure ain't a Mormon).

    The online gambling ban is just the tip of the iceberg folks... these people want too and are trying very hard too... force their entire radical belief system down our throat no matter if we like it or not...

    I think we are going to have to wait till Bush and his cronies have been all thrown out of power (and hopefully into prison) before our freedom to spend our own hard earned money the way we choose is restored.

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    Last edited: May 12, 2007
    3 people like this.
  18. May 12, 2007
  19. mysticjoz

    mysticjoz Senior Member

    Occupation:
    disabled~ (still capable of being pretty darn stub
    Location:
    somewhere... over the rainbow!
    My personal opinion on this... All of us who live in the good old USA (home of NOT Free to do with our own funds as we please country) all know that this whole issue is that the "United States of America" will go to any and all lengths to be sure TAXES are paid on any of these winnings. and it all boils down to that and only that.. the USA government is not getting thier "share" and therefore will go to any length to assure that they get a profit also.
    I would be willing to bet that if ALL online casino's were required to file a Tax Form with the Federal IRS (just like all casinos Within the USA at the time of any payout over $599.00 just like Foxwoods Casino, Mohegan sun, Vegas, Atlantic city do) to assure that the USA gets its "cut" of this industry which they disguise as "TAXABLE WINNINGS" how many congress men would vote for it then? Not a suggestion just an opinion,... :notworthy

    I keep seeing: "Virtually all Internet gambling is illegal. Individuals and businesses that facilitate illegal Internet gambling are violating numerous federal and state laws," U.S. Attorney Brett L. Tolman said. :what:

    Virtually ! Come on... be honest.. this all comes down to money. I also noted that online gambling is "Illegal" in Nevada! Guess we certainly don't want anyone who lives IN Las Vegas hitting a Jackpot online when they can just walk across the Street hit one there and have it immediatly documented!
    (or they lose thier shirt, shoes, house, kids, and wife) But it's legal to gamble in Nevada.. just not online! )

    lojo,, bush is a snake.. from day one. that would open so much pain for all of us in the us, yes.. he needs to be out-ed... fast! I don't know why he has not been impeached yet! I agree but I do feel bad for whoever gets in office that has to try to clean up all of the messes he made.

    "All the money in the world won't buy the most precious thing you should hold in your heart... love, respect and your dignity"..(jmz)
     
    3 people like this.
  20. May 12, 2007
  21. mysticjoz

    mysticjoz Senior Member

    Occupation:
    disabled~ (still capable of being pretty darn stub
    Location:
    somewhere... over the rainbow!
    My personal opinion on this... All of us who live in the good old USA (home of NOT Free to do with our own funds as we please country) all know that this whole issue is that the "United States of America" will go to any and all lengths to be sure TAXES are paid on any of these winnings. and it all boils down to that and only that.. the USA government is not getting thier "share" and therefore will go to any length to assure that they get a profit also.
    I would be willing to bet that if ALL online casino's were required to file a Tax Form with the Federal IRS (just like all casinos Within the USA at the time of any payout over $599.00 just like Foxwoods Casino, Mohegan sun, Vegas, Atlantic city do) to assure that the USA gets its "cut" of this industry which they disguise as "TAXABLE WINNINGS" how many congress men would vote for it then? Not a suggestion just an opinion,... :notworthy

    I keep seeing: "Virtually all Internet gambling is illegal. Individuals and businesses that facilitate illegal Internet gambling are violating numerous federal and state laws," U.S. Attorney Brett L. Tolman said. :what:

    Virtually ! Come on... be honest.. this all comes down to money. I also noted that online gambling is "Illegal" in Nevada! Guess we certainly don't want anyone who lives IN Las Vegas hitting a Jackpot online when they can just walk across the Street hit one there and have it immediatly documented!
    (or they lose thier shirt, shoes, house, kids, and wife) But it's legal to gamble in Nevada.. just not online! )

    lojo,, bush is a snake.. from day one. that would open so much pain for all of us in the us, yes.. he needs to be out-ed... fast! I don't know why he has not been impeached yet! I agree but I do feel bad for whoever gets in office that has to try to clean up all of the messes he made.

    "All the money in the world won't buy the most precious thing you should hold in your heart... love, respect and your dignity"..(jmz)
     
    1 person likes this.
  22. May 12, 2007
  23. mysticjoz

    mysticjoz Senior Member

    Occupation:
    disabled~ (still capable of being pretty darn stub
    Location:
    somewhere... over the rainbow!
     
  24. May 12, 2007
  25. lojo

    lojo Banned User - repetitive violations of <a href="ht

    Occupation:
    Tradesman
    Location:
    USA
    But we have bent over and taken it from the american taliban (people in power indifferent to other's beliefs) for so long they think their power belongs up in us. My neighbors don't care about uigea as long as they get to live in their dream. They get on their bully pulpits out of fear and defend the one war we have going on, the war on civil liberties; it is not a war on drugs (see iran/contra -cia/cocaine,etc.) and it's not a war on terror (see our enemies before and after 9eleven) it is well orchestrated and deliberate. I would bet there is even a FU clause in the end-of-patriots act that would call a boycot 'economic terrorism'. (I haven't read the whole thing I would guess less than 1/1000 of 1% of my fellow citizens have either. We're afraid to take to the streets, and when we do it is negated by the media arm of government (see clearchannel communications, fox news, et al) nad we are added to 'the list' with no recourse nor trial.

    Mitt is sooooo slick, he will probably be the next man behind the desk in the oval office. God help us. Humanity help us. We must help ourselves. It will be a sad day, and it is now, when we Americans can read the gulag archipelago and see ourselves in it.

    Good night, and good luck ;(
     
    1 person likes this.
  26. May 12, 2007
  27. lojo

    lojo Banned User - repetitive violations of <a href="ht

    Occupation:
    Tradesman
    Location:
    USA
    I'm afraid there is more to it than DC greed for taxes, they can tax in many ways without representation and they do. It is people who think they know whats best for us and our children imposing their antiquated beliefs on our rights and liberties. All it takes is one train driver who smoked a doobie, one mother who lost a child to a drunk driver, etc. and a media controlled by sensationalism.

    Bush IS a snake and we all know it, but it goes deeper than his cartel, it goes to our indifference to the sanctity of life, and liberty, and self volition. And my words are the babbling of a powerless puppet flopping his rag doll neck.

    But, we play :D
     
  28. May 13, 2007
  29. mysticjoz

    mysticjoz Senior Member

    Occupation:
    disabled~ (still capable of being pretty darn stub
    Location:
    somewhere... over the rainbow!

    :lolup: ya got mme there lojo! LOL have a great one

    good luck tonight everyone! and To all the Mom's

    HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!! MAY WE ALL GET A BIG BONUS TONIGHT! :thumbsup:
     
    2 people like this.
  30. May 14, 2007
  31. lojo

    lojo Banned User - repetitive violations of <a href="ht

    Occupation:
    Tradesman
    Location:
    USA
    Life, liberty and self volition
     
    1 person likes this.
  32. May 31, 2007
  33. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    7 charged .... update

    Update:

    7 charged in Web gambling ring

    By Natalie Hale
    Deseret Morning News
    Seven Las Vegas residents charged with involvement in an extensive Web-gambling ring pleaded not guilty at an arraignment and detention hearing in U.S. District Court Wednesday.
    Richard Carson-Selman, Henry Bankey, Tina Hill, Lombardo brothers Baron, Count and Francisco, and Francisco's wife Kimberlie were charged with 34 felony counts of racketeering, bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, which carry sentences up to 20-30 years in prison.
    Prosecutors say members of the group were involved in a seven-year-long international money laundering service, which would distribute moneys from sports Internet gambling Web sites to a series of international bank accounts and computer servers. The funds would then be forwarded to Utah-based companies.
    From 2000 to 2007 court documents state the group processed more than $150 million in proceeds from the gambling Web sites.
    Some 40 boxes of evidence and multiple computer hard drives were confiscated by authorities and are believed to contain extensive evidence.
    CurrenC LTD, Gateway technologies, Hill Financial services and Betus are a few of a number of companies prosecutors say were created by the group and then were used to create and operate the credit card and wire transfer operations.
    According to court documents, gambling patrons could place bets on sporting events and gambling games using Web sites such as Betonsports PLC and Betus.
    The information from these sites was sent to servers located outside of the United States the United Kingdom, Jamaica and Korea among other countries. Servers would forward the transactions to Draper- based companies Gateway technologies and Hill Financial services and then pass those transactions on to the Internet gambling site owners.
    Authorities said the case was uncovered when the IRS noticed several strange transactions from the companies and outside information was revealed.
    No members of the group were detained, but Judge Paul Warner had them surrender their passports and restricted them from movement outside of Utah and Nevada unless pretrial services receives and approves prior notification.
    Richard Carson-Selman was exempted from surrendering his passport on the condition he notify pretrial services before traveling outside the country as an independent contractor for Edelweiss, a credit card manufacturing company in Europe.
    As part of the federal prosecution, the group was served notice under the Rackeeter Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute that in the event any defendant is convicted, the government will seek seizure of multiple assets. In addition to the millions in multiple off-shore accounts, ........

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