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Online Gambling Entrepreneur Arrested and Charged With up to 75 Years in Prison

17 April 2010 by Devon Chappell

I don’t know about everyone else, but does it seem strange that an online gambling entrepreneur should be treated differently than a business or corporation “guilty” of the same charges? Or better yet, does it seem very strange that an online gambling entrepreneur could potentially serve more years in prison than a convicted murderer?

Introducing Daniel Tzvetkoff – an online entrepreneur and owner of the online payment processor, Intabet. Tzvetkoff, who was practically unknown until a couple of years ago (quite frankly, I didn’t even know who he was until today), has apparently experienced a Greek-like rise and fall, and now faces up to seventy-five years in prison for allegedly assisting online casinos and internet betting companies in laundering over $540 million into offshore accounts registered to “shelf” companies in the British Virgin Islands.

Okay, well, let’s just cut to the chase, shall we? Anyone working in the online gambling industry knows that the allegations are very likely true. The fact that the US online gambling industry continues to thrive despite actions by the U.S. government, i.e., the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, is testament there is a very, very good chance someone is skirting around the law – even if it means finding a legal loophole. According to the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office, Tzvetkoff was breaking the law all along, and now faces charges of money laundering, money laundering conspiracy and bank fraud conspiracy.

Based on emails obtained by the FBI, Tzvetkoff willingly took part in a conspiracy that involved the purchase of shelf companies that would be renamed to something “processing related”, as well as telling employees – which at one point number 120 in a Milton office – to lie to banks so that online gambling transactions would go undetected. In other words, Tzvetkoff was helping online casinos process transactions from U.S. residents.

Okay, so what else is new? It still goes on and will continue to go on -so why make Tzvetkoff pay big-time for essentially the same thing the eWallet corporation Neteller did, whom got off with a big fine? I suppose that answer lies in the fact that Tzvetkoff is now broke and only recently declared bankruptcy after being sued by business partners and basically losing everything, including his yacht and $28 million mansion.

Certainly the makings of a Greek tragedy, the next chapter of the story of Daniel Tzvetkoff will soon be played out in a U.S. court of law.

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