County Police Net $470,000 in Online Gambling Seizure

Anne Arundel County police will get new equipment after sharing proceeds of the seizure of millions of dollars stemming from a federal investigation into illegal online gambling.

The Anne Arundel County Police Department will be getting some new equipment after receiving more than $470,000 as part of the seizure of funds tied to a federal investigation into illegal gambling.

Federal investigators shared the money after county detectives helped in an investigation that seized more than $33 million from gambling organizations using banks in Guam and Charlotte, NC.

Police said they would use the money for equipment to assist with undercover investigations, plus new vehicles and weapons.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations division led the probe, which centered on payment processors that move funds between online gamblers.

Anne Arundel County Police have three officers assigned to ICE HSI in Baltimore. Detective Scott Gunn is assigned as an undercover officer exclusively with the money laundering task force. County police are currently involved in 12 federal task forces, including four with ICE. 

“This type of activity exists in this county just like it does in other jurisdictions,” Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold said. “Wherever we find it, we’re going to root it out.”

Federal investigators said they targeted online gambling sites because the proceeds from illegal gambling are often used to fund other illegal activity and organized crime. It is illegal for Internet gambling businesses to operate in Maryland, regardless of where the website is based.

In its investigation, ICE HSI in Baltimore created a fictional payment processor business, Linwood Payment Solutions, and spent between December 2009 and January 2011 processing more than 300,000 transactions worth more than $33 million.

According to an affidavit tied to the case, ICE used a woman based in Maryland to set up an account on the gambling website BetEd.com and use the phony payment processor to receive funds.

In April, a federal grand jury indicted two companies and three men, who were then charged with conducting illegal gambling business and money laundering. The government also seized 11 bank accounts and the domain names of 10 gambling sites.

“The cooperation between our department and [ICE HIS] investigation goes far beyond normal law enforcement task forces,” County Police Chief James Teare Sr. said.  

The investigation involving Anne Arundel County Police is separate from the investigation resulting in the closure last month of several major Internet poker sites including Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and PokerStars.

Teare said the department receives an average of about $250,000 per year in forfeited assets. He said the $470,407.62 in assets announced Thursday is the largest one-time distribution in the department’s history.

Leopold said he was happy to see the department receive new equipment as a result of the seizure.

“Especially in these tough economic times, when I’ve had to make very unpleasant budget cuts, I’m pleased to see these revenues will come to the police department to help them out and help them do their job,” he said.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article misspelled the name of an Anne Arundel County Police detective involved in the case. He is Det. Scott Gunn.

John Thomas June 08, 2011 at 11:51 AM
Thanks for explaining Chris. I had no idea thats whats happening with online poker. does the IRS get involved with this ?
alassnsane June 08, 2011 at 12:41 PM
I think it might be pertinent to point out here that the player's $ was perfectly safe until the DOJ stepped in to freeze accounts which resulted in so many players losing/losing access to their online bankrolls. Poker players like any independent professional are required to track and pay their taxes themselves...and considering that all online players winnings are recorded on the net there for the world to see we have far less incentive to attempt to bilk the IRS than most.
John Thomas June 08, 2011 at 01:00 PM
Define a "professional " ?
alassnsane June 08, 2011 at 01:08 PM
John Thomas's comments highlight what I believe to be one of the biggest hurdles professional poker players (and recreational now, as well) have to surmount...the false, outdated impression that most laypeople have about the poker community. It isn't the Old West, it isn't happy go lucky Maverickland, it isn't a dark and insidious underworld populated by shady criminals. We don't gamble all our $ blindly on the roll of a die...most poker players are highly educated, responsible, disciplined people who have honed their craft into an art. An art which many carefully grind hour after tedious hour, employing mathematics, probability and statistics to achieve a profit...in truth it's usually something far less than exciting, or glamorous, because it's a skill and not a game of simple chance. Most successful players are focused first and foremost on careful bankroll management, and yes, leaving large sums of $ deposited for that purpose is often a necessity for those that are professional players. That definition is hotly in debate these days...the best I have come to fairly describing a professional player (I believe) is anyone who earns a significant portion of their income from playing poker.
John Thomas June 08, 2011 at 01:16 PM
Alassnsane : Where is the proof that most poker players are highly educated responsible players ? do u have statistics and facts to back that statement up ? I could never bring myself to leave thousands of dollars online but thats just me. I would take the money and run as soon as I got it....
Chiang Media June 08, 2011 at 01:31 PM
poker not same you job so same good idea i think. but... y u need you proof. if they stupid okay then police steal man money. what u like say "mr police office john thomas".
alassnsane June 08, 2011 at 01:32 PM
Of course you would, because you are not a pro poker player and don't understand the very topic you're pursuing...the fact that you are, again, repeating the same statement you made earlier after two people who Do understand this topic have attempted to explain it to you tends to make me begin to suspect you are trolling versus genuinely interested in intelligent discourse on this subject...however, I Will address your first question simply because I mistyped that statement... It Should have read "Most successful poker players..."...and my 'proof' exists in their very success...as you can not achieve much in this world without those attributes...as for "highly educated"? I have no proof at hand to offer you, but were you to spend much time delving into the poker world you would see this for yourself...it isn't unusual to find yourself sandwiched between a Harvard and a MIT grad...there Are stats out there indicating that the online poker world is populated by young, upwardly mobile, well educated individuals should you feel moved to hunt them down, I don't at the moment.
Chiang Media June 08, 2011 at 01:33 PM
"Thanks for explaining Chris. I had no idea thats whats happening with online poker. does the IRS get involved with this ?" Why u care about IRS. u same like kill maybe people in war.. make u happy sir?
Tim Lemke (Editor) June 08, 2011 at 01:41 PM
If anyone in this thread is willing to be interviewed on the record for a follow-up story on this, please email me at timl@patch. I am particularly interested in talking to anyone in Maryland who has lost money as a result of the seizure of funds.
JoeCitizen June 08, 2011 at 01:44 PM
You have to have a certain amount online to play the stakes you want to play John. If you play 1$ tournaments and keep thousands of dollars online that's not very smart. But if you play lets say 200$ tournaments and bigger you need to keep a bigger bankroll online to play these stakes. And now it's a little bit of a hassle to put money online and take it off thanks to corrupt thieving bums like the ones here in Anne Whatever Co so that's another factor for keeping money online. Yea the Homeland is safer now though that my Mom can't play her 2 4 cent limit and 10 cent tourneys anymore online. Thanks for stealing her 20$ roll Anne Whatever who cares County.
alassnsane June 08, 2011 at 01:55 PM
Sorry, John...I'm done jumping through your hoops - find 'em yourself.
Sam June 08, 2011 at 09:26 PM
Any politician who supports this disgusting action will not get my vote.
Chiang Media June 09, 2011 at 12:43 AM
i man thai "mr police john thomas". but me ask u can speak china. "mr police john thomas" america small more u think
Chiang Media June 09, 2011 at 12:44 AM
very nice u sir
Chiang Media June 09, 2011 at 03:01 AM
i not live in america john. internet big place. same i tell u many time maybe place say poker site good. how many % way usa? 17% "mr police john thomas". mean same 83% no usa. only one police have probablem sir u police. united kindgom say okay pokerstars can be on tv. poker stars can have office they say same good company. u say not trust poker site and man terror. about u not listen many company same can buy london stoack exchange. europe union licenses them. funny u tell me leave. will never look me in american "mr police john thomas" i same man like freedom not same lie. y same me not go usa. u police steal and many man like u not care.
joew June 09, 2011 at 03:08 AM
well said chaing
Chiang Media June 09, 2011 at 03:28 AM
ty sir joew
PATTONE June 09, 2011 at 05:59 AM
PATTONE June 09, 2011 at 06:09 AM
john thomas I think that you are really one of the guys in the picture holding the check
Bill June 09, 2011 at 08:14 PM
I spoke with Tim today in regards to a follow up story. Hope that it comes across well.
i hate you June 16, 2011 at 06:53 AM
Im from California, and I agree with how disgusting these actions are. I want to see the data, backing all of this. These guys, flaunting there big check, I hope they fail in anything they attempt to do, and that's why all of their budgets will be the first to go, peace. All we need police for is to remove the killers, thieves, (oh wait we would have to remove them then, darn!) rapists, violent criminals, and child molesters. It my money and ill do what I want with it, that's how I feel. So long as Taxes are paid, anything left over, I darn well will do as I please with it.
Jake K Irk September 19, 2011 at 11:08 AM
This is absolute straight up theft from your citizens. Disgusting.
Canadian Left Wondering September 19, 2011 at 02:09 PM
If the American government was at all concerned about proceeds of these websites going to organized crime then why didn't they shut the doors to all these casinos in Vegas that gave money to mobsters and probably still give money to mobsters? This is probably the most cowardly thing I have seen any one country do in my life and you call America, "the land of the free?" Really America...... I guess you really need the money for more bombs and guns to kill innocent civilians but at least you took the real criminals down. Those poker players who sit at home all day and night are really hardened criminals.... thank god for America!
ACAB September 19, 2011 at 03:11 PM
How is this 'justice'??? It's blatant theft! Instant karma's gonna get you, oh god I hope so.
Chiang Media September 20, 2011 at 02:30 AM
please vote for Ron Paul in 2012. Many other support this, and do not understand that poker is legal most place. comment about terror is ignorant - the world a very large place and these company very good, help many.
Chiang Media September 20, 2011 at 02:30 AM
Yes I am near sure you is correct
Chiang Media September 20, 2011 at 02:34 AM
it is ignorance more than theft. these police not know any better - in many way sad for them at how blind they are. if many go skool and learn more can make u country better. before i mad but when more time passing only me sad for your country. i hope good man take care family can get back money police steel, but more i wish many can learn more too. sad sad very sad :(
Todd Rescoat September 26, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Especially in these tough economic times, when I’ve had to make very unpleasant budget cuts, I’m pleased to see these revenues will come to the police department to help them out and help them do their job
Todd Rescoat September 26, 2012 at 07:07 PM
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