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Gambling Investors Sue Mutual Funds
4/9/10 - Shareholders of two Vanguard Group Inc funds have launched litigation in a Delaware court against the company and fund executives for allegedly investing their money in four illegal offshore Internet gambling businesses, reports the news agency Reuters.
The case again raises the question of whether mutual funds can be held liable for their investments in foreign firms that later face prosecution.
The same plaintiffs were unsuccessful in a similar Manhattan court case in 2008, where the judge ruled that the shareholders were injured by a U.S. government crackdown on Internet gambling [the UIGEA] which damaged the businesses of online gambling companies, and not by Vanguard's investment in the gambling firms.
Plaintiffs represented by New York attorney Thomas Sheridan seek to hold mutual fund companies liable for their investments in online gambling companies, and similar actions have been filed in Missouri and New York against Kansas City-based American Century Investments and in California against Los Angeles-based Causeway Capital Management LLC. All have so far proved unsuccessful.
The suits claim that the funds' investments in online gambling companies were wiped out when the U.S. government began cracking down on illegal offshore gambling businesses in 2006. The act and subsequent enforcement actions led to withdrawal from the US market and serious commercial damage to a number of major online gambling companies, impacting the investors in those companies.
The Delaware lawsuit alleges that Vanguard International Equity Index Funds and Vanguard Horizon Funds unlawfully invested money in illegal gambling businesses. The plaintiffs are listed as Marylynn Hartsel of Florida and South Carolina resident Deanna Parker, who seek class-action status on behalf of investors who bought shares in the funds before July 17, 2006.
Reuters reports that among other things, plaintiffs claim that even before the 2006 law was passed, investors should have heeded many warning signs, including a notice in PartyGaming's 2005 prospectus that its activities were seen as illegal by authorities. Neteller made similar comments in its 2004 prospectus, the suit states.
The lawsuit alleges that Vanguard and Vanguard fund managers and trustees knew they were violating U.S. criminal laws by investing in Sportingbet, PartyGaming, Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG and Neteller.
John Woerth, a spokesman for Vanguard, told the news agency: "We feel it is important to emphasize that Vanguard adheres to the highest ethical standards in every aspect of our business. We believe that the plaintiffs' case is without merit, and we intend to defend the matter vigorously."
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Bitcoin, in particular, is a cryptocurrency that you can use on various online poker sites and it allows a faster and cheaper way to get money into and out of the online poker site.
Kentucky Derby Odds: Justify still Favorite -
With all the races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby complete, Justify is still on top of the odds list at 4/1. But he’s got company: Mendelssohn (9/2), Audible (11/2) and Magnum Moon (8/1) are all very much in contention for the big race on May 5.
888Poker Takes Over the States -
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MPN Poker Tour Bratislava | Day 2 -
It was a hard fight around the bubble, culminating in the elimination of Georgios Drakakis in 46th place. He received a surprise consolation entry into the next MPNPT stop in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (5-8 July), which softened the blow of missing out on a €900 min-cash.
MPN Poker Tour Bratislava Day 1B -
Dorey Captures Chip Lead After MPNPT Bratislava Day 1b Triples 1a Field Size. The second flight of the €550 MPN Poker Tour Bratislava Main Event is in the bag, and so are the chips of 97 players who will be returning along with the 26 Day 1a survivors to fight to the money and beyond today
MPN Poker Tour Bratislava Day 1A -
The MPN Poker Tour has arrived in Bratislava for the very first time, bringing with it the Tour’s friendly mix of local and globe-trotting poker enthusiasts, pros and qualifiers to the beautiful Slovakian capital.
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