From Riches to Rags

At 25 and living the life most people dream of Daniel Tzvetkoff was at the top of his game. Daniel Tzvetkoff spent millions on luxury homes, cars and an upscale bar. Today Daniel Tzvetkoff is bankrupt and in the federal witness protection program. Insiders say that Daniel Tzvetkoff was responsible for ‘Black Friday’ when federal officials seized the domains and assets of the three largest internet poker operators. Earlier the millionaire from Brisbane Australia lived the life wearing a white suit and black t shirt drinking Cristal champagne with celebrities at his luxury bar Zuri.

Tzvetkoff had amassed a fortune of $80 million through his online payment company Intabill. He spent $28 million for a waterfront mansion, spent $7.5 million on a yacht and had a garage with several luxury cars including his favorite Lamborghini Gallardo. A friend recalls “He just loved spending. Throwing the cash around, the best things in life. Champagne, parties – he loved parties.” Unfortunately his flamboyance attracted the attention of authorities and the party is over for Tzvetkoff.

Tzvetkoff is now bankrupt and living in the witness protection program. He is accused of several counts of fraud on both sides of the Pacific. Not man enough to do his own time Tzvetkoff informed on several internet gaming operators to save his own skin. Those who knew Tzvetkoff say his predicament could be a cautionary tale. One former friend said “He was a kid caught up in the money. He’s slightly delusional. He doesn’t accept he’s done anything wrong. He just thinks he can get away with it. He just puts on a smirk and a smile and doesn’t think about the consequences it has on other people.”

Friends say that while Tzvetkoff may be a genius his emotional maturity is childlike. One Brisbane acquaintance said “I don’t think his personal maturity matched his intellectual maturity. He could have channeled his wits into an honest living [but] he got greedy. He saw others making a fortune and he helped himself on the way through.” In 2004 Tzvetkoff teamed up with a lawyer Sam Sciacca. Soon the company had five thousand clients in 70 countries – many of them online gambling operators. Soon the former recluse who had few friends was one of the most popular guys around.

In 2009 poker sites Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars complained they were owed money by Intabill. Full Tilt took the company to court and it was revealed that Tzvetkoff had allegedly siphoned millions to pay for his lifestyle. In 2009 Intabill collapsed but liquidators found that $50 million had been transferred to Tzvetkoff’s personal bank accounts as “loans” Tzvetkoff’s US associates approached authorities and accused him of money laundering. When Tzvetkoff showed up at an internet billing conference in Las Vegas he was arrested. After a few months in a US jail and the threat of a 75 year jail sentence Tzvetkoff turned informant.

Tzvetkoff is also wanted in his native Australia for fraud. Tzvetkoff also owes $150 million to creditors and his former partner Sciacca is suing him for $100 million. One former associate said “He’s finished.”

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