US Feds Pursue Electracash in Funds Seizure CaseBy: Joe Valentino, Monday October 26th 2009
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A report published in The Baltimore City Paper stated that the United States federal authorities are not stopping at the seizure of the bank accounts of the California based online cash processor Electracash Inc. The bank accounts were seized in July this year. These bank accounts were seized because they were purported to be illegally used in the processing of payments from online gambling operators. It appears that the federal enforcement has now obtained a warrant to check out the e-mails of Electracash in order to find evidence of online gambling related transactions.
The Baltimore City Paper has published copies of the relevant court orders in its report that states "This time, the Feds are going after evidence of gambling-related communications in Electracash's e-mail account with New York-based Intermedia."
Richard S. Gunn, the Anne Arundel County, Maryland, officer for the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), had made the application for the warrant. Earlier this year Gunn was involved in the seizures of the Forshay Enterprises bank accounts, which was also allegedly involved in online gambling payment processing. The current warrant against Electracash was assigned by the United States District Court magistrate Judge James Bredar early in October. The warrant is in public domain having been put up on the federal courts online database, PACER. The affidavit signed by Gunn is, however, sealed. The affidavit in the bank account seizures of Electracash was also sealed and not available to the public.
Earlier in the year six accounts of Electracash were seized by the United States authorities. These accounts were held in three banks, namely Bank of America, First Premier Bank and Interstate Net Bank. At that time the affidavit for the warrants was prepared by ICE special agent M. Lisa Ward. Like this time, it was Judge Bredar who had issued the warrants. Judge Bredar had noted that the affidavit would remain sealed until further order of the court or until January 10, 2010, whichever comes first.
IRS criminal investigator Randall Carrow has pointed out that Electracash is owned by Edward Courdy. In July 2008 charges were filed against Courdy and one Michael Garone for money-laundering. However neither was asked to appear in court to answer to the charges. In the proceedings last year the United States government has filed forfeiture proceedings to keep almost $10 million seized from Courdy. However $200,000 was returned to Courdy in the beginning of 2009. The government had seized more than $14 million from Garone and has kept that amount with them.
An online newspaper, The News Hole, tried to contact the chief executive officer of Electracash in connection with the e-mail seizure warrants. However D. Lee Falls refused to return the phone calls. Hence Electracash's viewpoint in this issue could not be ascertained. In the bank accounts seizure case as well neither the Electracash officers nor their attorneys had responded to media queries.
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