According to a report in the Financial Times, Full Tilt Poker is under investigation on money laundering charges. Two professional players who could be the focus of the investigation are Howard Lederer and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson.
Full Tilt Poker accepts players from the US, and many legal experts believe that despite what the US government insinuates, online gambling is not illegal in the country. Money laundering charges, however, has been a commonly used charge to go after the online gaming industry.
"There are not laws in the US that forbid a player from turning on their computer and gambling online," said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz, "Transferring money, however, has become increasingly difficult for these sites that offer their services to US customers."
In 2006, the US created the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Instead of targeting the sites, however, the law is aimed at making financial institutions responsible for blocking Internet gambling transactions. The financial institutions have argued that they do not have the resources to carry out this duty.
The UIGEA has not yet gone into effect. Late last year, Representative Barney Frank and other lawmakers successfully lobbied to have the UIGEA rules delayed for six months. Frank has proposed legislation to overturn the UIGEA and set up the framework for a regulated online gambling industry in the US.