Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Illegal Gambling and Money Laundering Prompt Forfeiture Complaint for Artwork

Prosecutors have filed a complaint in federal district court in Oklahoma City to forfeit artwork and other property allegedly connected with illegal gambling and money laundering.

Court papers filed on June 7, 2013 reveal that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probed an enterprise based in Panama City, Panama, which allegedly conducted illegal internet gaming in the United States. Prosecutors claim that nine pieces of unspecified artwork seized by authorities in April are connected with the millions of dollars generated from the operation.

An FBI affidavit describes the alleged racket as having "established a number of business payment services, and financial schemes to help hide the nature of the gambling activity and to launder the money utilized to operate the illegal gambling enterprise."

Thirty-four defendants from the U.S., Canada, and Panama have been indicted in the Western District of Oklahoma on charges of illegal gambling, money laundering, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO).

Besides art, other property singled out for forfeiture include money, real estate, jewelry, champagne, and memorabilia located in Arizona, Alabama, California, and Colorado.

Photo credit: sabercat

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