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Pokerstars founder and director indicted by FBI, site shut down

The founder of Isle of Man-based online gaming firm PokerStars and one of its directors are among eleven people from the industry indicted and charged in the United States with bank fraud and money laundering.

The indictment claims Isai Scheinberg and Paul Tate, who're both listed as Isle of Man residents, and others engaged in a scheme to, "deceive United States banks and financial institutions into processing billions of dollars of payments for the poker companies."

It goes on to say this was done, "by, among other things, arranging for the money received from United States gamblers to be disguised as payments for hundreds of non-existent online merchants and other non-gambling businesses".

A US Justice Department statement says the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York is working with international law enforcement agencies and Interpol to secure the arrest of the defendants who are non-US citizens.

That includes Scheinberg and Tate, who're facing up to 30 years in prison.

Two of the 11 men named in the indictment - both US citizens allegedly connected to PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker - were arrested separately in Utah and Nevada yesterday.

It goes on to say another man is expected to appear for his arraignment in the Southern District of New York on Tuesday next week.

The domain name of PokerStars' website has been seized, with an FBI warning coming up if try to go to pokerstars.com

A statement has been released by the company which says services to US-based people have been suspended due to legal developments there, but for all customers outside the US it is business as usual.

It adds the website has now been moved to a different domain name.

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