http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/poker/news/story?id=6362238&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines The poker world was shaken Friday as the owners of the three largest online poker sites -- PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker -- were charged with bank fraud, illegal gambling offenses and money laundering.The Manhattan U.S. Attorney announced the indictments of those involved with the online poker sites as well as those who were responsible for the financial transactions. The 11 defendants are Isai Scheinberg and Paul Tate (PokerStars), Raymond Bitar and Nelson Burtnick (Full Tilt Poker), Scott Tom and Brent Beckley (Absolute Poker) and Ryan Lang, Ira Rubin, Bradley Franzen, Chad Elie and John Campos (involved with payment processors).Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in the indictment: As charged, these defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits.The companies are all based overseas. The indictment sought $3 billion in money laundering penalties and forfeiture from the defendants.The charges are conspiracy to violate Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), violation of UIGEA, operation of illegal gambling business, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy . Maximum penalties from these charges range from five years in prison and a $250,000 fine to 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine (or twice the gross gain or loss). These defendants, knowing full well that their business with U.S. customers and U.S. banks was illegal, tried to stack the deck, said Janice Fedarcyk, FBI assistant director-in-charge. They lied to banks about the true nature of their business. Then, some of the defendants found banks willing to flout the law for a fee. The defendants bet the house that they could continue their scheme, and they lost. The complaint also alleged that these companies used fraudulent methods to trick financial institutions into receiving payments. [The sites] arranged for the money received from U.S. gamblers to be disguised as payments to hundreds of non-existent online merchants purporting to sell merchandise such as jewelry and golf balls. This could have much deeper ramifications for the entire online gaming industry for US players. The bank fraud and money laundering charges refer to the use of credit card and wallet companies. No word yet on what will happen to money in player accounts at those 3 poker sites, but it's safe to assume that the funds are gonzo - and it might just be a matter of time before the eWallet businesses are locked down too.