The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested another person on March 3rd, 210 that was associated with online gaming. A German national, Michael Olaf Schuett, was apprehended and charged not with online gaming crimes but with money laundering.
After tips from the Federal Express, the FBI found out that Schuett had been part of an operation that was paying millions of dollars to winning online poker gamers, many of which were citizens of the United States.
The FBI believes that Michael Schuett had been involved in the online poker operation for more than three years. At that time, Schuett used bank accounts that were opened up in different business names to pay US players their poker winnings.
Federal Express finally sounded the alarm when Schuett continually sent more than fifty packages a day to addresses around the United States. Financial groups around the US also became wary of the large checks that were being cashed in from Schuett's main company, MCM Capital Management.
After the investigation and arrest of Schuett, the FBI has asked that all of funds of Schuett's company in different accounts like in Bank of America and SunTrust be frozen.
Schuett was denied bail by a judge since he was judge a flight risk. He is being held until the FBI completes its investigation. Schuett has a US visa that is set to expire in April 2010 and that alone caused concern that he may leave the country if released from FBI custody.
The United States has been successful in the past at apprehending members of online gaming operations for money laundering and other charges that are not directly related to gaming itself.
The UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was approved in 2006 to stop online gambling but even that law does not prohibit online gambling activity. Due to the confusing wording in the UIGEA and prevailing belief among legislators that the United States needs a regulated online gambling industry.
Rep. Barney Frank has introduced a bill that would overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Compared with 2009, when Rep. Frank's efforts were dismissed by legislations, many more lawmakers are now in favor of Rep. Frank's proposal.
He has accumulated 65 co-sponsors for his proposed bill which will regulate and tax the online gaming industry particularly online poker.
03/18/2010 12:19 PM