Saturday, April 17, 2010

Daniel Tzvetkoff (Owner of Third-Party Online Payment Processors) Arrested by the Feds for Money Laundering

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Cue the COPS theme song.

Very few things can get me out of bed. One of them is an earthquake, the other is breaking news about arrests in the poker industry. On Friday, 27-year-old Daniel Tzvetkoff from Australia was arrested by the federales in Las Vegas. The FBI and ICE were both involved with the arrest.

Tzvetkoff is the founder of Automated Clearing House (ACH) and Intabill, and the feds are accusing him of laundering $540 million for online poker sites such as Full Tilt, PokerStars, Absolute Poker, and UB.

Yes, the Feds are officially going after third-party payment processors.

According to the Herald Sun, if the Feds prosecute Tzvetkoff to the full extent, he could face up to 75 years in prison "on four counts including bank fraud, money laundering, gambling conspiracy and processing electronic funds illegally."

However, there's more to this story. According to the Feds, Tzvetkoff stopped processing payments in March of 2009 after a couple of online poker rooms accused him of stealing $100 million.

I wonder if this is just like a scene from Law and Order and the Feds are gonna hotbox Tzvetkoff and hope that he rats out the online poker sites and roll on Jesus and Lederer? Or will he take his lumps like a man and keep his mouth shut?

The more I read about him, this Tzvetkoff clown is more slippery than an eel in KY jelly.

I want to say this is bad for poker, but I usually like to hold off for a few days to assess the situation. But, it's hard to not say that this can't be good for other third-party processors. The Feds are going after the money right now. The paper trail is vast. Does it lead back to you? Time to start hiding behind the secrecy of those Swiss bank accounts. Or maybe, I'll just relocate to Holland. I always wanted to live in Amsterdam full time.

So will this affect day to day operations? Or will business continue on as usual? Time will tell.

Editor's Note: Hat tip to Michalski from Pokerati for digging up this story.


  1. Irongirl019:11 AM

    I dont know much about the check/eft/funds clearing business but it seems like a shell game. Just as soon as the feds catch on to one, the online sites have moved on to another processor which seem to replicate like rabbits. 

    Personally if i was doing something the feds were hot on the trail of, i would never step foot in this country.

  2. alcanthang1:42 PM


    Could have sent out a headline saying "ACH indicted!" and I would have crapped my drawers!

  3. Kevmath3:00 PM

    This guy hasn't done payment processing for over a year.  Also, there's other cases where the feds have been cracking down on payment processors:

  4. TJ_Eckleburg7:04 PM

    I've been waiting on a wire from PokerStars for almost 2 weeks... longest I've waited before was 5 days.

  5. Brian G.6:06 PM

    Around election time, the poker community was saying that we need to get rid of the Republicans so we can play online poker without interference from those Bible-toting theocrats.  Now the DOJ is run by Obama and his people and the crackdown has begun.  I told them all that this wasn't an issue of some evil right-wingers that wanted to take away our rights, and that the Dems would not be their friends on this issue like they think.  If I were one of the big name guys, I would worry about the day that the goverment starts to make an example of people, like they always do.  (See for example, Wesley Snipes and the fat naked guy that won the first Survivor).  This goes way beyond hating Bush and Frist.  The government needs money, and there is a lot of money in poker and plenty of high-profile big money games out there.