Online Operator PokerStars Retrieves Funds From 'Black Friday' Seizure

Published Tuesday, September 06, 2011 -

The Black Friday seizure of millions of dollars by the USA’s Department of Justice has been slow to be released as lawyers still try to sort out what’s what and who’s who.
Recent news that the D o J has come to an agreement with Poker Stars and will release some funds is welcomed by many players who were and still are in doubt whether they will ever see their cash again. The funds were seized as part of the $3 billion civil case against PokerStars, and other online poker rooms.

In a “Stipulation and Order” document filed September 2, 2011 in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York, the U.S. Department of Justice has agreed to release an unspecified amount of seized funds back to PokerStars.
A PokerStars payment processor known as Sphene International is the account holder of the Luxembourg located Bank Hapoalim (Suisse) SA.  PokerStars has been permission to use all of the funds in the account except for $5.5 million which was supposedly earned by players in the USA.

The document issued by the court read, “WHEREAS, the Government and PokerStars have reached an agreement pursuant to which PokerStars consents to the restraint of $5.5 million in the Account for the pendency of the above captioned case, and the Government agrees that it does not object to PokerStars’ use of the remaining funds in that account;”
PokerStars is still operating and is fully co-operating with the Department of Justice. PokerStrars is still ranked number one for having the world’s largest online poker room and the largest network available for cash games. American players have been fortunate to see their accounts active so that some retrieval has been possible. There are questions though as to whether or not these funds will be taxed by authorities in the USA. No reasons were given by the D o J as to why the seized PokerStars money was released.


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