Offshore Gambling Operation Accused Of Laundering $2M Using Amazon Gift Cards

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Amazon gift cards aren’t just for buying stuff online anymore: according to a Department of Homeland Security investigator, they’re also the method of choice for an offshore gambling website’s money laundering operation.

The investigator alleged in a recent application for a seizure warrant filed in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia that a Costa Rica-based gambling site called 5Dimes told customers to use Amazon gift cards to fund their sports betting on the site, in order to circumvent the U.S. financial system, Re/code reports.

When customers won bets, 5Dimes also paid out prizes in Amazon gift cards, or in merchandise that they’d select on the e-commerce site.

“[T]he investigation has determined that 5Dimes has developed an alternative to the traditional online financial payment methods, which is unavailable to 5Dimes under federal law, in order to operate its illegal betting operation in the U.S.,” the document reads. “This illegal alternative relies on the use of [Amazon gift cards], in violation of Amazon’s terms of service.”

Homeland Security wants to seize a total of $159,000 spread among 15 Amazon accounts suspected to be connected to 5Dimes. All told, the accounts have held almost $1.9 million combined, the warrant application says. Amazon has shut down at least one of those accounts, the filing notes.

Offshore Gambling Site Laundered $2 Million in Amazon Gift Cards, Feds Say [Re/code]

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