The Department of Justice continues to expend resources relating to offshore gambling. Reported by the Wall Street Journal, this time the DOJ is involved with an alleged illegal gambling operation in the Dutch Caribbean.
Yesterday, a federal judge issued a restraining order against three UBS accounts in Miami that resulted in freezing over $28 million apparently tied to Robertico Alejandro dos Santos, who Curacao authorities are investigating for tax fraud, forgery, and money laundering.
Allegedly, dos Santos has sold millions of dollars in forged lottery tickets out of his popular gambling lottery business, “Robbie’s Lottery.” If true, he has essentially been stealing from his customers’ pockets. This time, “Robbie’s Lottery” gets a taste of its own medicine, with the DOJ robbing dos Santos of his $28 million.
The federal government’s interest here seems at least in part similar to that of the recently indicted offshore online poker companies: Cracking down on money laundering in the United States. A key difference is that in this matter, the Curacao public prosecutor’s office reached out to the DOJ for assistance. The DOJ’s pursuit of the offshore online gambling sites, however, was initiated by federal authorities, as far as we know.
There’s no reason to believe the DOJ will stop pursuing individuals committing bank fraud and money laundering in the U.S. while running their operations offshore, gambling-related or not. Whether or not the underlying operation violates U.S. laws, the DOJ has a strong interest in the moving of funds related to those operations that does break the law.