PokerStars dealt a class action in St. Clair County

Andrea Dearden Sep. 11, 2012, 3:00am

A St. Clair County woman has filed a class action lawsuit to recover money allegedly lost to an offshore gambling website.

Kelly Sonnenberg, individually and on behalf of a group of others, filed a lawsuit Aug. 24 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Isai Scheinberg, Paul Tate, Nelson Burtnick and Oldford Group Ltd. Rational Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., Pyr Software Ltd., Stelekram Ltd. and Sphene International Ltd. are also named as defendants.

According to the class action complaint, Scheinberg was the director, CEO and owner of PokerStars, an internet poker company founded in 2001. He, along with Tate and Burtnick, allegedly ran the gambling website and many other shell companies from their headquarters in the Isle of Mann. In April 2011 the card rooms operated by PokerStars were shut down by the U.S. Department of Justice, according to the lawsuit, and the defendants were indicted for alleged wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering and violating state and federal gambling laws.

Up to that point, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Illinois residents allegedly held personal accounts with PokerStars where they deposited their own funds into the accounts and were allowed to play internet poker games for real money stakes. Many, if not all, lost money to the defendants, according to the class action lawsuit.

Sonnenberg says she is related to one of those internet gambling customers. She alleges the defendants violated Illinois criminal code and claims she is entitled to sue for losses greater than $50, according to the state's gambling laws. Sonnenberg and the group seeks an undisclosed amount of money in damages and court costs.

Attorney Lloyd M. Cueto of Bellevile represents the class. They ask for a jury trial.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-444

More News