Nope, those aren't just stories, this was a big story for a brief period last year:
June 09, 2009
Over $34 million belonging to at least 27,000 online poker players has been frozen by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, according to statements released by the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) and Associated Press.
The accounts are managed by Allied Systems Inc., and Account Services, which handle cash for popular online poker sites, including Full Tilt Poker
and Poker Stars. Though the money belongs to the poker players, it is held for them in accounts managed by the two service companies.
Account Services, which had an account worth $15 million frozen in its San Francisco bank, doesn't accept deposits, but writes checks to players who are cashing out. As a result, thousands of players receiving checks from the company won't be able to cash them, a lawyer for the company said.
The Federal Government did freeze those accounts, but there was a big question as to the legality of their action. I guess nothing really came of it and the poker sites involved resumed business as usual, and reimbursed the affected players. By now, all players accounts have supposedly been retuned to normal status, but according to the previous post, maybe not all of them were....