Calvin Ayre/Bodog Have $24M in Funds Seized by US Government

jetset

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I've looked carefully at the Morris Mohawk statement, which was distributed widely to Internet gambling media yesterday, in conjunction with the Forbes report....and I can't see that the Forbes report can be dismissed as BS in its entirety.

I think it is more likely that the Mohawk statement is a damage control smokescreen.

Here's what the Forbes report said concerning the JBL and Zip Payments seizures:

"Court filings in Maryland say that in January and February a total of $14.2 million was seized from accounts in the name of JBL Services and Transaction Solutions at Wachovia, Regions Bank, Bank of America and Sun Trust Bank.

"In July, filings say, another $9.9 million was found in eight accounts at Nevada State Bank, a unit of Zion Bancorporation (nasdaq: ZION - news - people ), in the name of Zaftig Instantly Processed Payments, doing business as ZipPayments.com. The companies are described as helping to facilitate parts of the Bodog operation."

The motivation for the Mohawk statement could be the player-deterrent fears that this sort of government action might inspire. And who knows, perhaps that's an intended DoJ consequence of the article, with reporters tipped off on where to look for the detail. Stranger things have happened.

The Mohawk-Bodog failure to respond to Forbes invitations to comment on the piece pre-publication, added to pokeraddict's confirmation above that Bodog is principally named in the court filings, I think serves to reinforce that view.

The feds have clearly devoted a great deal of energy and time to looking into Ayre's business affairs, too and I think that has to give rise to more speculation that he must be a target when and if they can get at him.
 
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NASHVEGAS

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The feds have clearly devoted a great deal of energy and time to looking into Ayre's business affairs, too and I think that has to give rise to more speculation that he must be a target when and if they can get at him.
The information I get clearly is hearsay I have assumed but in this case was spot on. If the hearsay is correct Ayre by no means is an isolated target as PA's post may imply. History and logic verifies that....Operation Malicious Mortgage may have taken some of the focus off the US online gambling industry but it is risky business regardless.
 

lots0

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This is the US code section they are prosecuting under.


TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 95 > 1955

1955. Prohibition of illegal gambling businesses

(a) Whoever conducts, finances, manages, supervises, directs, or owns all or part of an illegal gambling business shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(b) As used in this section
(1) illegal gambling business means a gambling business which
(i) is a violation of the law of a State or political subdivision in which it is conducted;
(ii) involves five or more persons who conduct, finance, manage, supervise, direct, or own all or part of such business; and
(iii) has been or remains in substantially continuous operation for a period in excess of thirty days or has a gross revenue of $2,000 in any single day.
(2) gambling includes but is not limited to pool-selling, bookmaking, maintaining slot machines, roulette wheels or dice tables, and conducting lotteries, policy, bolita or numbers games, or selling chances therein.
(3) State means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession of the United States.
(c) If five or more persons conduct, finance, manage, supervise, direct, or own all or part of a gambling business and such business operates for two or more successive days, then, for the purpose of obtaining warrants for arrests, interceptions, and other searches and seizures, probable cause that the business receives gross revenue in excess of $2,000 in any single day shall be deemed to have been established.
(d) Any property, including money, used in violation of the provisions of this section may be seized and forfeited to the United States. All provisions of law relating to the seizures, summary, and judicial forfeiture procedures, and condemnation of vessels, vehicles, merchandise, and baggage for violation of the customs laws; the disposition of such vessels, vehicles, merchandise, and baggage or the proceeds from such sale; the remission or mitigation of such forfeitures; and the compromise of claims and the award of compensation to informers in respect of such forfeitures shall apply to seizures and forfeitures incurred or alleged to have been incurred under the provisions of this section, insofar as applicable and not inconsistent with such provisions. Such duties as are imposed upon the collector of customs or any other person in respect to the seizure and forfeiture of vessels, vehicles, merchandise, and baggage under the customs laws shall be performed with respect to seizures and forfeitures of property used or intended for use in violation of this section by such officers, agents, or other persons as may be designated for that purpose by the Attorney General.
(e) This section shall not apply to any bingo game, lottery, or similar game of chance conducted by an organization exempt from tax under paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, if no part of the gross receipts derived from such activity inures to the benefits of any private shareholder, member, or employee of such organization except as compensation for actual expenses incurred by him in the conduct of such activity.
 

NASHVEGAS

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My eyes hurt...Had Gore invented the internet yet when this law was written in the 1950's???....Saw the 1986 amendment but could have missed some!!
 

jetset

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The information I get clearly is hearsay I have assumed but in this case was spot on. If the hearsay is correct Ayre by no means is an isolated target as PA's post may imply. History and logic verifies that....Operation Malicious Mortgage may have taken some of the focus off the US online gambling industry but it is risky business regardless.

I think that goes without saying - when it comes to companies that have been active in the US market, it would be a brave, uninformed or maybe plain foolish online gambling executive who risked travelling to or through the States since the Carruthers/Dick/Kaplan detentions.
 

NASHVEGAS

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I think that goes without saying - when it comes to companies that have been active in the US market, it would be a brave, uninformed or maybe plain foolish online gambling executive who risked travelling to or through the States since the Carruthers/Dick/Kaplan detentions.
Of course, it is now easy for you, I, and anyone else that wants to jump on the bandwagon to claim this was a no brainer. Yet, as time went on complacency may have made one wonder. Twice, over the last 10 months or so BB would post (paraphrasing) Ayre was entering this country with no problem. Maybe so, I dunno but I questioned the legitimacy of the most recent post. If I understood BB's response correctly, I believe BB clarified he was simply stating what Ayre personally claimed to BB but BB was not validating the authencity of Ayre's claim. If so, fair enough.

Do you think that only online gambling executives travelling to or through the US are at risk? If so I disagree. Aiding, abetting, fraud are keywords. I have been involved as a Plaintiff participant in a lawsuit (not a class action) against the DOJ now in its' 18th year (I can PM you a link if you may be interested in this mind boggling case). Our counsel expected 2 to 3 years upon the initial filing at most if not settled prior. Point being, the DOJ has its' own agenda and tactics. Thus, the legal expert's opinions are no better than mine or yours. There is great risk for those that simply are relying on such,imo. FINIS!!
 

jetset

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"Jumping on the bandwagon" is perhaps an unfortunate phrase to use here because it implies imv that members commenting on this issue are doing just that and have limited knowledge of the issues, which I don't believe to be the case.

I'm afraid you've lost me on the reference to "BB", Nashvegas. Are you referring to Bryan and his posts with those initials?

Your question: "Do you think that only online gambling executives travelling to or through the US are at risk?" has an obvious answer - no, of course not. However, I'm focusing in this discussion on the online gambling industry and the dangers of a diversity of enforcement ploys that the American authorities have proved they can use in several high profile cases.

I personally doubt that there is complacency among online gambling top brass regarding US developments, which clearly are being closely monitored. It's a major and important market with interesting issues constantly ongoing and still has the lure of future legitimacy.

If it's relevant to the induistry and this discussion I would appreciate the link to the personal litigation to which you refer - I'm always happy to read and learn.
 

NASHVEGAS

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"Jumping on the bandwagon" is perhaps an unfortunate phrase to use here because it implies imv that members commenting on this issue are doing just that and have limited knowledge of the issues, which I don't believe to be the case.
No implication intended other than basic human nature!

I'm afraid you've lost me on the reference to "BB", Nashvegas. Are you referring to Bryan and his posts with those initials?
Yes

Your question: "Do you think that only online gambling executives travelling to or through the US are at risk?" has an obvious answer - no, of course not.
We agree
However, I'm focusing in this discussion on the online gambling industry and the dangers of a diversity of enforcement ploys that the American authorities have proved they can use in several high profile cases.
No objection

I personally doubt that there is complacency among online gambling top brass regarding US developments, which clearly are being closely monitored. It's a major and important market with interesting issues constantly ongoing and still has the lure of future legitimacy.
Agree with "top brass" but not sure elsewhere. Certain subjects may be just too taboo for this site but it is what it is!

If it's relevant to the induistry and this discussion I would appreciate the link to the personal litigation to which you refer - I'm always happy to read and learn.
FYI, not industry related but involved the wrongful seizure of a Savings and Loan and the government's Breach of Contract based on Supervisory Goodwill. Case was won in the Supreme Court in 1996. 13 years and running on determining damages that the DOJ has claimed from Day One til present totaled $0.00.
FINIS!
 

Westland Bowl

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This is the US code section they are prosecuting under.


TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 95 > 1955

1955. Prohibition of illegal gambling businesses

(a) Whoever conducts, finances, manages, supervises, directs, or owns all or part of an illegal gambling business shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(b) As used in this section
(1) illegal gambling business means a gambling business which
(i) is a violation of the law of a State or political subdivision in which it is conducted;.....

So the DOJ had to conduct undercover betting with Bodog through one of the 11 US states that have laws that specifically ban internet gambling in order to bring charges and justify seizure of money? Microgaming doesn't allow those 11 states but RTG I think does. Bodog accepted anyone anywhere.
 

lots0

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So the DOJ had to conduct undercover betting with Bodog through one of the 11 US states that have laws that specifically ban internet gambling in order to bring charges and justify seizure of money?

That would be my guess.

Going back to the US Neteller issues: It was a US DOJ employee that made controlled wagers on sports betting using Neteller to transfer the funds that got Neteller tossed out of the US...

Moral of this story... Don't take wagers from the 11 states that specifically outlaw online gambling and don't take Sports Bets from anyone in the USA...
 

NASHVEGAS

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MAryland isn't a banned MG state is it? Considering this was sports gambling using a communication device it falls under the Wire Act too.
The fact that I do not remember a reference to the Wire Act of 1961 in the pleadings you provided seems to open Pandora's Box and establish a new and/or another legal precedent I would assume. The Wire Act of 1961 (geared towards racketeering and later RICO) has generally been the legal precedent in prior cases. I expected to see it referenced in the pleadings you provided but I do not recollect if it was ever referenced. Please correct me if I am incorrect!!

I swear when I read the following I went OH PH_CK and just kept reading over and over. I wonder if others read it more than once??? :
"(2) “gambling” includes but is not limited to pool-selling, bookmaking, maintaining slot machines, roulette wheels or dice tables, and conducting lotteries, policy, bolita or numbers games, or selling chances therein."
 

Westland Bowl

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I swear when I read the following I went OH PH_CK and just kept reading over and over. I wonder if others read it more than once??? :
"(2) gambling includes but is not limited to pool-selling, bookmaking, maintaining slot machines, roulette wheels or dice tables, and conducting lotteries, policy, bolita or numbers games, or selling chances therein."

I guess the DOJ is using two tools:
1) the Wire Act for sports-betting which is applicable to the whole USA;
2) State laws against allowing access to regular gambling games (blackjack, craps, keno, etc.) in those states that specifically banned online casinos.

I guess they couldn't get Bodog on any violations of sports-betting so they try getting them on allowing regular online casino games in states that ban online casinos. But shouldn't those documents PokerAddict provided disclose the "evidence" used to prove violations?
 

pokeraddict

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But shouldn't those documents PokerAddict provided disclose the "evidence" used to prove violations?

They did. The feds placed $4000 in sports bets on 35 different events in Maryland. They then had a paper trail of processors because one of the checks bounced. I admit I didn't read the whole novel but I did get that part.
 

lots0

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i was just thinking outloud, what happens to all this money in the end that the U.S goverment has seized?....laurie

OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL COMMENTARY AND SUMMARY

The Assets Forfeiture Fund and Seized Asset Deposit Fund (AFF/SADF) is a reporting entity within the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The SADF and AFF were created to serve as repositories for seized funds and the sale proceeds from forfeited property. The proceeds deposited in the AFF are used to cover certain operating costs of the DOJ Asset Forfeiture Program (AFP). These include payments to state, local, and foreign governments; joint law enforcement operations; contract services in support of the program; and satisfaction of innocent third party claims. Operational expenses do not include the salaries and administrative expenses of AFP (However, the funds are used to give DOJ employees pay raises and Bonuses - added by lots0) participants incurred while conducting investigations leading to seizure and forfeiture, and these are not reported in the AFF/SADF financial statements. In FY 2002, the AFF/SADF reported $675.3 million in forfeited property and $553.6 million in seized property.
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The Government uses the money to fund its self... Agencies like the DOJ and local police departments don't really need taxpayer money when all they have to do is "seize" large amounts of money or force people to forfeit their money and property...

Allowing government agencies to "seize" money, force forfeitures and keep the money takes control of the agency out of the hands of the people and politicos and puts total control of the Agency in question, in the hands of the heads of these agencies.

Just one of the reasons why the founding fathers put that little clause in the US Constitution about Illegal Seizure...

Oh ya, then there is the problem that these agencies that use "seized" money to continue to operate, give employee pay raises and employee benefits have a very big motive to seize as much money as they can.

The DEA, for example, operates almost entirely (about 78% of their total budget) on "seized and forfeited" funds...

These agencies continue to lobby Congress to allow them to "seize" even more money...

In case you can't tell this "seizure" issue is one of my pet peeves with the way our government is currently being run.
 
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