Payment Firm Seeks Return Of Seized Online Poker Funds
Payment processor Account Services Corporation has filed a motion in federal court for the return of about $14 million seized by the government and owed to online poker players.
The move comes from actions taken in June, when the U.S. froze assets totaling around $33 million belonging to Allied Systems and Account Services.
In its motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Account Services argues it and the online poker players are not in violation of the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA), a law passed in 1970 to reduce organized crime.
"There is no evidence whatsoever that the individual players for whom the seized funds were being held were in any way engaged in financing, managing, supervising, directing, or owing all or part of an illegal gambling business," documents say. "Accordingly, the players are not in violation of 1955 (the IGBA), nor are the funds seized proceeds of an illegal gambling business."
In the motion Account Services also says it is liable for checks that were cashed at check cashing businesses and later bounced due to the governments seizure of funds.
"ASC (the company) is now exposed to demands and threats of civil suits from check cashing businesses that cashed individual players’ checks which subsequently bounced," documents say. "ASC’s ability to function as a business has been severely impaired . . . ASC will likely have to close its doors if the money is not returned and the bank accounts are unavailable for operation of business."
Advocacy group the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) voiced its support of Account Services and said it plans to get involved.
"The PPA will likely seek to get involved in this action to ensure that the voice of U.S. poker players are heard and their freedom to play the skill game of online poker is preserved – without the threat of the government seizing their money."