I'll just be completely honest and put it all out there. I have a gambling problem. I lost a couple hundred dollars playing online poker at one of the popular US poker sites. I feel I was unfairly taken.
To explain in more detail, this particular instance involved two people who I knew were working together at a high stakes table I was at, but I couldn't prove it while the game was going on. When I checked the hand records, you could see it plain as day though. The two would play almost every hand together. When one had a "made" hand, the other, even if they had NOTHING, would raise the pot to help the other make more money. You could also see some evidence of them constantly funneling money to whichever one of them had fewer chips. Needless to say...I was royally pissed. I took the info and clearly pointed it out to the online poker room security, and to make a long story short...they just brushed me off! I guess since they got their rake on each hand they could care less. I asked them to refund my losses at that particular table, and well, I'm sure you can figure out what they said.
So, now I want to get my money back. It looks like a thin line when it comes to the law and committing fraud, so before I did anything, I wanted to make sure I couldn't get in trouble with the law. I've done a bunch of research on the topic and read up on this topic on other forums and blogs (and even saw a video on youtube) about this stuff, so here is my plan:
1) I went to the online casino and purchased my chips. When I got my credit card statement, it came back as some sort of web design company in Canada, instead of what the charges were for - online gambling. The charge amount was different than what I got credited for in the casino. The charge was for $800, and my credit card statement said $799.97.
2) Based on my research, I found that the reason they did this is because of a bill called the UIGEA, which is now apparently US law. The UIGEA states that it is illegal for US banks to process online gambling transactions. In order to get around this, the online casinos essentially "launder" the money through a fake company that has setup a merchant account.
3) When I went to the online casino, I only authorized them to charge my credit card, not this company that apparently sells web design services. So, on my credit card statement, I can legitimately (and I believe 100% truthfully) claim that I have no idea who this company is (because the name is different), have no idea what the charge is for (because this is saying I purchased web design services), and don't recognize the charge amount (because it is different). I have to sign an affidavit to that effect. I want to make absolutely certain that is not perjury, so I don't end up in federal pound me in the arse prison!
4) When I report these charges as unauthorized transactions, I am almost certain the bank will find in my favor, because what is the casino going to do? If the casino tells them what the charges are for, then the original transaction was illegal, which would nullify their merchant agreement and the original transaction. If they try to pretend the charges were for web design services, its just an outright lie, and they have to prove they provided those services - which they never did.
Can I get into any trouble or is this fraud when requesting a chargeback against an online casino when I know with a fair amount of certainty that the funds ended up in the casino once they went through the shell corporation that processed the transaction? Is there any way that I can push this through and not have to worry about committing any type of crime?
If signing an affidavit to this effect is perjury, any idea what the penalties would be? A fine? Probation? Jail time?
I've never committed a crime in my life (other than speeding), and I don't want to start now if this isn't fully legit. However, I believe the UIGEA makes this entire process 100% legit. Thank you for any advice!