03/21/2012 : AUSSIE ONLINE GAMBLING ENTREPRENEUR TO GIVE EVIDENCE IN U.S COURT
Tzvetkoff due to resurface soon
Former Aussie e-processing high-flyer turned state witness and informant, Daniel Tzvetkoff, will come out of hiding next month to give evidence in the April 9 New York trial of his Las Vegas-based business partner, Chad Elie, and a Utah banker, John Campos.
Elie, 31, is charged with nine offences including conspiring to commit bank fraud and money laundering, whilst Campos, a 57-year-old executive at Utah's SunFirst Bank who allegedly agreed to process gambling transactions, is charged with six offences.
Tzvetkoff, a 29-year-old former Internet whiz kid, faced a sentence of 75 years in a US federal prison following his arrest at a Las Vegas conference in 2009 for processing online gambling transactions, money laundering and bank fraud, but struck a secret deal with prosecutors.
He became an important and protected state witness and informant for the US government in its prosecution of the world's largest online poker companies: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and the Cereus Network.
After some months in detention, Tzvetkoff was apparently released and disappeared in June 2010 following reportedly secret deals sealed against public disclosure by US judges. Despite intense speculation, his whereabouts remained unknown.
The Age claims that Tzvetkoff, whose Queensland-based company Intabill allegedly processed more than $US1 billion worth of illegal transactions between US gamblers and internet gaming websites based offshore, has handed more than 90,000 documents, including confidential emails, over to US investigators.
This week, Elie's lawyers complained to the judge handling the case that, on the eve of the trial, prosecutors dumped a "mountain of documents" on them, including Tzvetkoff's emails.
"For example, although the government had previously produced emails for Daniel Tzvetkoff, one of the government's main witnesses in this case, the material we recently received revealed that Mr Tzvetkoff had deleted his emails from the Intabill server, which had previously been made available to the defence, and that the Tzvetkoff emails that were included in prior productions were therefore ones that Mr Tzvetkoff had cherry-picked for the government," Monday's filing from Elie's lawyers, Barry Berke and Dani James, stated.
"Only after we pointed this out to the government did we receive a full set of Mr Tzvetkoff's materials, which included more than 90,000 documents and which we were able to access for the first time only yesterday."
Tzvetkoff, who lived the high life in his native Australia before his arrest, with a luxury mansion and a garage filled with expensive sports cars, was accused in 2009 of defrauding online poker companies of about $US100 million.
This week former FBI agent Harold Copus told The Age: "He's turned the corner, seen the light and is cooperating," after reviewing the details of the case.
Tzvetkoff's assistance to US authorities is widely credited with helping to bring about Black Friday on April 15 2011, when PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker were shut down in the US by authorities, and top internet gambling and processing executives indicted on a range of offences that include bank fraud and money laundering.