LAS VEGAS – A banker who took on an online gambling operation was the star of an anti-money-laundering conference in Las Vegas on Monday.
Compliance officer Cathy Scharf told an auditorium full of aghast colleagues about her experiences at a Utah bank that illegally processed a quarter billion dollars for the offshore gambling sites PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
She said her bosses told her the bank would fail without the illegal income, and they threatened her with arrest if she told on them.
Scharf ultimately worked with federal banking regulators to take down SunFirst Bank. She said other banks may be caught up in similar offshore gambling operations. After all, she says, banks need deposits.
Her colleagues congratulated her on her bravery and asked about how well federal authorities protected her.