Federal Grand Jury Indicts Former CEO of Adult Processor

Apr 28, 2010 11:15 AM PST
LAS VEGAS — Daniel Tzvetkoff, the former CEO of online adult processor Merchant Solutions who later founded gambling processor Intabill Inc., faces up to 75 years in prison and at least $543 million in fines after a federal grand jury indicted him.

Tzvetkoff faces charges of illegal gambling, bank fraud and money laundering in connection with Intabill's elaborate processing operation, where dozens of phony offshore shell companies with names unrelated to gambling were allegedly used to facilitate transactions.

Federal prosecutors said that Intabill utilized the automated clearinghouse system to transfer funds between U.S. checking accounts and various Internet gambling businesses. They charge that Tzvetkoff and others disguised those gambling transactions as repayment of payday loans that consumers had taken out online, as well as transferred funds applied to pre-paid debit cards.

"Tzvetkoff and his co-conspirators obtained unique websites and toll-free numbers for these shell companies and developed phony websites to make the companies appear to have a valid, non-gambling purpose," the indictment said.

Tzvetkoff, an Australian citizen, was arrested earlier this month in Las Vegas while attending a trade show. Federal prosecutors were tipped off over the Tzvetkoff's alleged activities after several online casino companies alleged that he stole $100 million of U.S. player deposits.

Federal prosecutors said that Tzvetkoff's operations lasted a little more than a year, from February 2008 until March 2009. Several months after Intabill wound down, the corporate parent filed for bankruptcy in May 2009, with Tzvetkoff later filing personal bankruptcy in February.

Tzvetkoff moved over to online gambling processing after spending several years helming Merchant Solutions, an online adult payment company headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, with another office in Los Angeles.

According to Bluff Magazine, Tzvetkoff has gained notoriety in Australia for his lavish lifestyle and vast wealth. He is estimated to be worth $1 billion, but has seen some difficult financial times as of late. His $28 million mansion on Australia’s Gold Coast, $27 million luxury yacht, and fleet of high-end vehicles all have been either sold or put up for sale.

Tzvetkoff, who has been in custody for several weeks, had a court hearing today at U.S. District Court in Las Vegas to determine whether he will be able to be released under monitored home detention.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan sided with prosecutors declaring Tzvetkoff "a serious risk" of fleeing if granted bail.

"No condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the presence of the defendant as required," Kaplan said.

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