Gaming director charged with misappropriating €800,000 in players’ funds

33-year-old Michael Zwi Oros released on bail after pleading not guilty to misappropriation charges, withholding players’ funds.

A Swedish director of two Malta-based gaming companies has been released on bail after pleading not guilty to misappropriating close to €800,000 in players’ funds.

Michael Zwi Oros, 33, of Sweden – the director of Everleaf Gaming Limited and Gold Man Gaming Limited – also pleaded not guilty to withholding players’ funds, to failing to deposit player funds in the ring fence players’ account, to failing to disclose all ultimate beneficiaries, and for failing to pay license fees and gaming taxes.

The alleged misappropriation occurred in July 2013 and the preceding months.

Sources close to the investigation said that whenever clients of Everleaf Gaming Limited tried to withdraw funds or winnings from their account, they were not allowed, allegedly because the company “refusing them to allow to cash their winnings.”

Moreover, sources said the alleged misappropriation influenced “thousands” of victims, including Maltese and Europeans.

The case was brought to light in October 2013, when a foreign online gamer filed a judicial protest against Malta-based Everleaf Gaming Ltd, alleging that the company refused to allow to cash in his winnings. The plaintiff – “a professional poker player” – had also said that the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) did not heed his calls for help.

Subsequently, the LGA suspended the licence of the accused and of Everleaf Gaming Limited and the police were called in to investigate.

Magistrate Doreen Clarke granted the accused bail against a deposit of €10,000 and a personal guarantee of €10,000. Moreover, the accused was also banned from leaving the country.

Inspector Daniel Zammit prosecuted.