When it comes to iGaming industry news we break the stuff you want to hear. So, when we heard about yet another example of poker companies becoming the target of the US anti-gaming forces we couldn’t keep it under our rather large bowler hat. We’ve already seen how by operating in North America you can leave yourself open to million of dollars being seized by the government, Full Tilt and PokerStars fine examples of this with millions seized over the last few years. The government has even gone after some of the star members of Team Full Tilt in the past in order to enforce acts passed many moons ago. Another company being investigated is no surprise then.
The latest case seems to hinge on a company fronted by Brian Kenny, who resides in the Caribbean, Costa Rica in particular, and the company that he fronts Securemoney. We already broke the news Tuesday that Washington State officials seized $553,000 from the Canadian payment-processing site. We think its wrong for player monies on route back to players to be sized, but knowing that all the big poker rooms are target number one in the US, who would be stupid enough to be having eCom operations inside the US.
In addition, in June, rumors were circulating that Kenny claimed that certain CIBC funds were “seized”, but he was reportedly going around telling people that they instead funded his personal retirement and new Audi. This was never specifically confirmed or refuted, but when it was investigated it turned out that he did lose some US accounts, which resulted in the loss of his check payout capacity that he was making available to Sportsbook.com.
From what we’ve learnt in this recent situation, Kenny looks like he has major problems.
That investigation actually began as far back as January 2009 and involved the Washington State officials using an alias and Visa card in order to investigate whether payments were being made – the alias being Terry Bach. The case looks to hinge exclusively on payments made to and from accounts at UltimateBet.com.
Dig deeper and you find more about the quandary Kenny finds himself in. Another company, also entitled Secure Money Inc (SMI), was formed in Nevada in 2004 and held US accounts from which cheques were written. Kenny was listed as President, Secretary, and Treasurer of this company. Obviously no such thing as “too many hats” in Kenny’s world.
As far as the situation in Nevada goes, the secret service were supporting this earlier investigation in the state as to whether it was a legitimate money transfer business. SMI held bank accounts at First Financial Bank (Ohio), Fifth Third Bank (Tampa, Florida) and Sun Trust Bank (Nevada, LV) – Kenny signatory on all the above.
The cheques received by the agent in this case, were identified as “payroll” and the return address makes matters ever more interesting. On the envelope, it lists “Treetop Promotions” at 80 West Beaver Creek, Suite 2, Richmond Hill, Ontario.
All this means that Kenny, in addition to SMI, are cited as “… committed and aided and abetted the commission of …” violations of the Wire Act, money laundering statutes, and operating an unlicensed money transferring business. No criminal charges have been sought against either of the two but they could have been invisibly done already without anyone’s knowledge. The fact that Brian Kenny personally signed many of the cheques doesn’t make his situation any easier.
There’s more though.
If you delve into the companies records of WWPS you find that it’s a Canadian registered company with an office in Ontario and the directors are Alexandru Huluban and – here’s the best part – Kim Kenny. It’s not known what the relationship to Brian is, but Kim is also the majority shareholder in the Canadian entity.