US attorneys go after PartyGaming founders

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Dozens of accounting and law firms have been ordered to hand over documents relating to PartyGaming, 999 and Empire Online as the US Department of Justice cracks down on the fortunes made by the gambling companies.

The billions made by the founders of PartyGaming are being hotly pursued by US authorities, who are demanding British banks provide hard evidence of their wealth.

Accounting firms, investment banks and law firms – among whom are DKW, book runner to HSBC, 888's book runner BDO Stoy Hayward, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Investec – are handing over details of individuals' ownership and involvement in the companies to US investigators who intend using it as court evidence.

According to local banks, the US Department of Justice intends to recover - through fines and seizure of assets - monies made by the company's senior executives.

The single largest target, according to The Daily Telegraph, is Anurag Dikshit, the brains behind PartyGaming.

Dikshit took out £432m when the company floated. Since June 2005 when the company listed, the four founders have cashed in more than £1.2bn.

Internet gaming was effectively banned in October last year when president Bush signed legislation outlawing gaming-related financial transactions.

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