DOJ calls Full Tilt Poker a Ponzi Scheme. Civil Complaint Amended.


Today we were expecting to be reporting on an update from Full Tilt Poker’s hearing in London with the Alderney Gaming Commission. Instead the DOJ blankets the headlines by filing a motion to ammend the Black Friday Civil complaint against Full Tilt Poker.

A summary of the ammendment is here. Key takeaways:

  • $443 million total has been distributed to the owners of Full Tilt Poker. Howard Lederer received $41 million, Chris Ferguson $25 million, and Rafe Furst $12 million.
  • An unnamed player which is likely to be Phil Ivey received $40 million in distributions and millions in loans including $4.4 million which has yet to be repaid.
  • There are 19 owners of Full Tilt Poker, but aside from Lederer, Ferguson, Furst, and Bitar no others are named.
  • Full Tilt’s debt to players on March 31st 2011 was $390 million. The total is $300 million today with roughly half owed to US players. Full Tilt only had $60 million in April 2011
  • $130 million of deposits from US players were credited to player accounts however were never removed from the players’ bank accounts.
  • Preet Bharara, SDNY Attorny General commented, “Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme”.

Durrr reacts: “about time the doj did this. i’ve been under nda the whole time (friend’s $$, not my own- and they have way more) so i couldn’t say anything about these kind’ve specifics… but i was constantly pissed that the doj didn’t make this public.”

This news lowers the likelihood of a sale of Full Tilt Poker and the return of player funds. We will keep you posted as more information regarding Full Tilt becomes available.   Read more at Subject Poker, Forbes, and the WSJ.

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