Party Poker Founder Pleads Guilty
A Co-founder of online gambling company, PartyGaming and its largest shareholder has pleaded guilty to illegal Internet gambling and has been fined $300 million. He has agreed to fully cooperate with authorities whilst the investigation is continuing. Anurag Dikshit pleaded guilty to violating the Wire Act.
Dikshit, was released on a $15 m bail and as well as his fine is also facing a maximum prison sentence of two years with sentencing to take place within the next two years. Dikshit has already paid a third of his $300 million fine and will have paid the other $200 m by the end of September.
Dikshit was part of the team that founded PartyGaming in 1997 and he built the original software platform. The United States Attorney’s Office has charged several owners and operators of an unknown number of sites with violating the Wire Act and other laws designed to stop money laundering and gambling operations.
In January 2007, this USAO put the online gaming industry on notice when it arrested and charged the founders of publicly-traded e-Wallet NETELLER for helping facilitate gambling.
PartyGaming agreed to work with the USAO in June 2007 to limit the amount of punishment it would receive for violating the Wire Act and other laws. It’s unknown when negotiations will conclude.
Dikshit, an Indian national with an estimated fortune of $1.6bn, declined to comment to reporters.