✖ Sources from “across the pond” have told WickedChopsPoker.com that Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar has been given the boot. While the executive’s ouster is as yet unconfirmed, sources at FTP claimed they’ve heard nary a word from Bitar since Sunday (although, as WCP itself admits, this is hardly a rare occurrence). WCP’s sources also claim that the Alderney Gambling Control Commission will reinstate FTP’s suspended operating license by this weekend, possibly as early as Friday. Again, there is no confirmation to these reports, but considering Bitar was personally named in the Black Friday indictments, it’s hard to see how the ‘white knight’ European investors allegedly looking to assume majority control of FTP would have any interest in keeping him around.
✖ On June 23, QuickTender sent an email to clients outlining its plan to refund their balances. (Read it here.) The payment processor, which had announced that US customer funds had been frozen in transit just prior to Blue Monday, now says it will accept withdrawal requests between July 1 and August 15.
Customers need to have a Euro denominated account; Quicktender “will not send any funds that claim to be destined for a EURO account to a 9 digit Fedwire/ABA routing number.” Funds will only be issued in the name of the QuickTender account holder and “there will be no way to transfer funds to previously QuickTender accepting merchants.”
In other words, it’s most definitely not business as usual. The email closed with this zinger. “We are deeply sorry that this is the only means of ensuring you receive your QuickTender funds as part of us ceasing our service, but we want to ensure you receive them rather than the USA authorities.”
QuickTender was synonymous with UseMyWallet, both of which were connected to Chargestream Ltd., which is reportedly owned by two men with decades of experience in payment processing, John Briggs and Paul Templeman (pre-UIGEA Neteller). Chargestream had two accounts in Dutch banks cited in the Blue Monday affidavits.
The +evpoker blog’s Aaron Wilt spoke with Maryland US Attorney Richard Kay about these funds last month. Kay stated that the frozen funds QuickTender referenced in its May 18 email to clients had been seized in New York by the US Secret Service. As for Chargestream’s Dutch accounts, Kay claimed that, due to the traditional 4-6 month process of diplomatic paperwork exchange that goes into seizing an overseas bank account, “the chance of any money being left in those accounts by the time we get to them is so close to zero I’d call it zero.”
✖ Speaking of Kay’s accounts, the Maryland US Attorney’s fake payment processing company, Linwood Payment Solutions, faces something of a political dilemma. Former Larimer County Republican Party Chairman Larry Carillo made 21 “preauthorized withdrawals” from his personal bank account via Linwood between Jan. 2009 and Aug. 2010, totaling $27,300. Problem is, it seems that as much as $17k of that may have belonged to Colorado’s Republican Party. On Tuesday, an arrest warrant was issued for Carillo on theft charges. He’s not yet in custody, but is reportedly negotiating his surrender with police. If it can be proven that Carillo stole the Republicans’ cash, it will be interesting to see if the party can convince the Feds to return it. After all, there’s an election coming up next year, and attack ads aren’t cheap… Hey, maybe the feds could even present them with an oversized novelty check like the one they gave the Anne Arundel County Police Department.