FirePay and Citadel Funds Seized by DOJ

Published on: May 21, 2007 

Two Canadian companies have recently found themselves the latest victims of the US Department of Justice’s ambition to end Internet Gambling in the US.  The attack against online payment processors who facilitate online gambling transactions is a result of the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act last fall in the US.

Online payment solutions FirePay and Citadel Commerce have both been targeted recently by the DOJ and have been issued seizure warrants for $4.2 million and $9.25 million, respectively.  Optimal Group Inc, the company to which FirePay is affiliated, has also declared that the DOJ has seized $15 million of Optimal Payment funds.  

At the time of the seizures neither company had been serving the online gambling market by facilitating any gambling related transaction in the States.  FirePay pulled out after the UIGEA was passed in October and Citadel immediately pulled out after NETeller faced big problems and arrests when they decided not to pull out of the market earlier this year.  However, due to the statute of limitations in the US, the DOJ had grounds to go ahead with the seizing of these funds.  

Both companies have announced that they are working with the DOJ and the U.S Attorneys office to come to some sort of resolution to the unfortunate circumstance.  

“The company is continuing to work with the DOJ through its legal counsel to resolve the situation". Declared Citadel.  
"Through counsel, the Company has been assured by the U.S. Attorney's Office that the issuance of the warrants does not impact in any way upon discussions between the Company and the U.S. Attorney's Office, nor upon any eventual outcome of those discussions." Announced a representative from Optimal Group Inc.

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