DOJ noemt Full Tilt Ponzi Scheme

chris ferguson3

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara heeft de aanklacht tegen Full Tilt gewijzigd, waarbij er wordt aangegeven dat de eigenaars meer dan $300 miljoen schuldig zijn aan de spelers. Full Tilt wordt een "globale Ponzi scheme" genoemd.

Volgens de Wall Street Journal zijn de eigenaren Howard Lederer, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Rafe Furst en Ray Bitar betrokken bij witwas praktijken, waarbij ze zichzelf $444 miljoen hebben laten uitbetalen, terwijl de spelers nog steeds geen toegang hebben tot hun tegoeden.

"Full Tilt was geen legaal pokerberdijf, maar een gobale Ponzi scheme," zegt Bharara in de aanklacht.

Bhahara geeft ook aan dat Full Tilt haar eigen spelers bedrogen heeft om miljoenen in hun eigen zak te steken en daarmee zowel logen tegen de spelers als het publiek als het gaat om de veiligheid van de gestorte tegoeden bij het bedrijf.

De boetes voor de beklaagden bedragen $41 miljoen voor Bitar, $42 miljoen voor Lederer, $25 miljoen voor Ferguson en $12 miljoen voor Furst. Deze boetes zijn gerelateerd aan het eigendomspercentage van de beklaagden op het moment dat er fraude werd gepleegd.

Daarnaast wordt er geeist dat elke individuele persoon die geld had staan op Full Tilt Poker terug betaald dient te worden.

De aanklacht die is ingediend door Bhahara:

"The Amended Complaint alleges that one of the Poker Companies, Full Tilt Poker, not only engaged in the operation of an unlawful gambling business, bank fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering as alleged in the Complaint, but also defrauded its poker players by misrepresenting to players that funds deposited into their online player accounts were secure and segregated from operating funds, while at the same time using player funds to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to Full Tilt Poker owners.

"Full Tilt Poker was able to accomplish this massive fraud, in part, because it illegally conducted business in the United States but maintained its personnel, operations, assets, and accounts principally overseas.

"The Amended Complaint further alleges that, in or about the summer of 2010, Full Tilt Poker payment processing channels were so disrupted that the company faced increasing difficulty attempting to collect funds from players in the United States.

"Rather than disclose this fact, Full Tilt Poker simply credited players' online gambling accounts with money that had never actually been collected from the players' bank accounts. Full Tilt Poker allowed players to gamble with -- and lose to other players -- this phantom money that Full Tilt Poker never actually collected or possessed.

"When other players won these phantom funds, their accounts were credited with money that Full Tilt Poker did not actually possess, but now nevertheless owed to these players.

"As a result, Full Tilt Poker soon developed a massive shortfall between the money owed to United States players and the money actually collected from United States players, with Full Tilt Poker having credited approximately $130 million in phantom money to U.S. players online accounts that was never actually collected from players' bank accounts.

"Full Tilt Poker never disclosed this shortfall to the public.

"The Amended Complaint further alleges that, as of March 31, 2011, Full Tilt Poker owed approximately $390 million to players around the world, including approximately $150 million owed to players in the United States.

"At that time Full Tilt Poker had only approximately $60 million on deposit in its bank accounts. As of the filing of this Amended Complaint, Full Tilt Poker still owes players over $300 million.

"The Amended Complaint alleges that, meanwhile, from approximately April 2007 until April 2011, Full Tilt Poker, and its Board of Directors, Bitar, Howard Lederer (“Lederer”), Christopher Ferguson, a/k/a “Jesus” (“Ferguson”), and Rafael Furst (“Furst”), all owners of Full Tilt Poker, distributed approximately $443,860,529.89 to themselves and other owners of the company.

"Payments to the Full Tilt Poker owners stopped only after April 15, 2011."


Zoals verwacht was er niemand bereikbaar voor commentaar.

Op dit moment vindt er tevens een hoorzitting plaats in Londen omtrent de ingetrokken licentie van Full Tilt Poker door de AGCC. Tot nu toe is hier nog geen nieuws over te melden.

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