Federal authorities in Florida have indicted three men for illegally processing financial transactions with international online gambling sites, including Panama-based BetOnline.
In an indictment filed in July but which only recently surfaced online, the US Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division accused David Stewart, Jason Neiman and Tom Freeborn of wire and bank fraud, illegal money transmitting, money laundering and conspiracy for their dealings with a number of online gambling sites based outside the US.
Stewart, an American living in Volusia County, Florida, is alleged to have formed shell corporations that were used to open accounts at US-based banks. Stewart also owned Web Pay TV Inc. and DiamondPayTV.com, which purported to offer monthly subscriptions to movie and TV services but whose actual purpose was to facilitate payments between US gamblers and international gambling sites.
Neiman, a Canadian living in Costa Rica, owned and operated DoughFlow, which processed payments on behalf of gambling sites. Freeborn, a Canadian residing in Canada, engineered online gambling payments through another Stewart-owned firm, eGoldwallet. (Both the eGoldwallet and DoughFlow sites are still online, while the DiamondPayTV site is no longer accessible.)
If the accused weren’t already foolish enough in this day and age to be maintaining a US presence while conducting illegal online gambling transactions, they had the bad luck to enlist an undercover law enforcement officer as an investor in their scheme. Not surprisingly, the undercover cop was all too willing to open a merchant account on behalf of the accused with credit card processor Elavon, a subsidiary of US Bancorp, after which their fate was sealed.
The conspirators are believed to have processed $4.2m in payments between January 2013 and November 2014 for a number of online sports betting, casino and poker sites, but BetOnline was the only site specifically identified in the indictment.