Brett Tolman, the U.S. attorney for Utah, has charged four companies and seven people with evading the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which bars financial institutions from handling payments for illegal online gambling, by processing Americans' bets through disguised overseas wire transfers and credit card payments. The indictment accuses the defendants of Wire Act violations, money laundering, bank fraud, and racketeering, all based on the same underlying actions. The government also is seeking forfeiture of $150 million, plus what looks like everything of value that the defendants own, under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Notably, although Tolman repeats the Justice Department's position that "virtually all Internet gambling is illegal," the website targeted by this indictment, BetUS, specializes in sports betting, which is clearly covered by the Wire Act, as opposed to other forms of gambling, which are not. As far as I know, all of the Justice Department's recent Wire Act prosecutions have involved sports betting.
The Eighth Amendment prohibition against excessive fines and fees applies to states as well, SCOTUS rules, opening a new way to challenge outlandish forfeitures.
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