Maryland becomes the current seizure central
Reports in the Maryland media indicate that another financial assault on Internet gambling transaction processors is taking place. The assault follows the route taken by such seizures in other parts of the States (see previous InfoPowa reports) with the use of forfeiture warrants by federal authorities.
It is reported that three bank accounts owned by processing company HMD Inc., are among the current targets. According to the Baltimore City Paper the warrants were filed on the the "“proceeds of an illegal gambling business" basis and involved implied money laundering allegations. The processing company has not yet made a statement on the action.
Earlier this year a Maryland judge approved three warrants authorising seizures of Bank of America accounts in Anaheim, California (see previous InfoPowa report) These were owned by another processing company identified as Electracash Inc..
One common feature in all the Maryland seizure warrants thus far reported is their secrecy - the affidavits on which the warrants were issued are all subject to court order that the contents remained sealed. In the case of the July 2009 orders against Electracash there is provision for the seals to be broken by a judge or in any case by January 2010.
The forfeiture strategy adopted by federal enforcement officials caught the attention of the media earlier this year when seizures were applied for in sealed affidavits from the US Attorney's office for the southern district of New York. After legal propceedinghs by interested parties the affidavits were unsealed, but with important sections 'redacted' or blocked out.
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