Several big online poker sites were shut down by the Department of Justice on Friday. The DOJ has also charged 11 people with running illegal gambling sites and bank fraud. The government also seized the accounts of players and it's unclear what's going to happen to that money now. Online gambling is illegal in the United States but these companies skirted that by technically operating in other countries. The problem, it seemed, was a variety of operations supported by the companies that DOJ said were basically fronts for money laundering to get to the gambling action.
The indictment last week and accompanying civil complaint alleged that the companies skirted the 2006 ban on electronic transfers related to gambling by working with third parties to create fictitious websites for fake companies to trick banks into thinking that it was not an Internet poker site. One was Green2YourGreen, an apparent environmentally-friendly household products company. In later years the sites invested in small U.S. banks in exchange for their cooperation in processing funds, the government alleges.