|Thursday, May 18, 2006|
|US Justice prosecutes individuals behind Antigua gambling website|
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia unsealed an indictment yesterday against two US citizen who operate WorldWide Telesports, Inc., (WWTS) for offenses related to the laundering of an estimated $250 million worth of Internet gambling wagers. According to the official press statement: “…This indictment underscores the Justice Department’s commitment to attacking illegal Internet gambling concerns by using federal anti-money laundering laws.”
The 12-count indictment, filed April 7, 2005, alleges that from April 1998 through the date of the indictment, Scott and Davis operated WWTS, one of several entities through which they illegally enticed gamblers to send funds from the United States to Antigua with the intent that these funds would be used for wagers on Internet casino games and sporting events
Wagers were placed by toll-free telephone numbers and through www.BetWWTS.com and other Internet websites controlled by the accused. Soliciting such wagers over the Internet violates the Wire and Travel Acts. The indictment also alleges that by causing funds to be sent from places within the United States to places abroad with the intent to promote Wire and Travel Act violations, the accused engaged in a money laundering conspiracy.
Furthermore, the indictment specifies subsequent financial transactions made by Scott with the proceeds of this illegal gambling activity as separate money laundering violations, as well as alleges his failure to report foreign bank accounts to the Internal Revenue Service.
The DoJ prosecution illustrates again that the U.S. is by no means prepared to interpret the WTO gambling ruling in a manner that would authorise internet gambling operators access to its market.
The Press Statement of the Department of Justice can be found at: http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2006/May/06_crm_298.html