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Arizona bank forfeits funds traced to Pokerstars payment processor

Justice Department officials have facilitated another anti-online gambling boost to federal coffers, according to reports from the Dow Jones news agency this week, which record that Arizona's Goldwater Bank has agreed to forfeit $733,804 to resolve a federal accusation that the money was involved in illegal internet gambling.

"The deal was made not just with the Justice Department but the Troubled Asset Relief Program, in which the federal government invested in banks during the aftermath of the financial crisis," Dow Jones reports, adding that Goldwater had been the recipient of a $2.5 million bailout from TARP.

Federal officials accused Goldwater of accepting deposits in connection with funds traceable to the Isle of Man-based online poker site Pokerstars. The bank allegedly accepted more than $13.3 million from the company and other similar sites in the first five months of 2009.

Goldwater was paid by Allied Wallet Inc. for clearing services. Allied Wallet Inc. and Allied Systems Inc. and their owner Ahmad Khawaja agreed last month to forfeit $13.3 million to resolve claims that the funds were involved in money laundering.

Goldwater denied knowing the transactions in question were related to illegal online gambling, but agreed to give up the money as well as implement anti-money laundering to safeguard the Treasury Department's TARP investment against future risks.

The Dow Jones report quotes TARP Special Inspector General Neil M. Barofsky, who said: "Today's charges and settlement should send a powerful message to TARP recipients that they will be held strictly accountable for any misdeeds while they stand as custodians of taxpayer dollars."

Source: InfoPowa News

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