The Canadian listed financial services company ESI Entertainment Systems – perhaps more familiar to online gamblers as Citadel – has settled its case with US authorities by agreeing to pay $9.1 million. The payment will expunge all charges that the company facilitated ‘illegal' Internet gambling by processing payments for U.S. customers, an Associated Press report revealed this week.
Federal prosecutors in New York said Citadel Commerce Corp., a subsidiary of ESI, processed more than $2 billion in wagers for American gamblers between 2003 and 2007, a time when there was confusion within the industry over the offshore reach of U.S. law.
Following the Neteller debacle in 2007, when two founders of that Isle of Man and Canadian e-processing group were arrested in the United States, Citadel left the US market and began cooperating with federal prosecutors (see previous InfoPowa reports).
ESI has admitted to criminal wrongdoing, in return for freedom from further prosecution; the company will disgorge some $9.1 million of its profits and implement monitoring procedures to make sure its services are not again used for gambling transactions.
In a notice on its website, the company revealed that its revenue fell dramatically when Citadel exited the US gambling market.