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Thursday, September 22, 2011

PPA Encourages You to Become a Lying Whore…

Today the Poker Player’s Alliance sent out an email suggesting that people who are owed money from Full Tilt Poker may be able to get compensation from the government if the allegations that Full Tilt was a “global Ponzi scheme” (hint it wasn’t—it was a badly run company).  By portraying themselves as “victims of a crime” players can potentially get some portion of their lost money back.

The Department of Justice is portraying it as if all offshore gambling is corrupt and that Full Tilt was stealing our money, but the fact is that they were the 2nd most reputable (ok 2nd was a ways down the totem but still) online poker company in terms of making sure people got paid, etc.  The one two punch here was the pressure of the UIGEA on the payment processors which caused them to float a bunch of invisible loans to plays to the tune of ???  100 million?  more? and then the seizure of a huge portion of their business funds while cutting off the US player population which they were much more dependent on than PokerStars.  I'm not holding Full Tilt faultless here, but I AM saying the DoJ literally caused this to happen.

So if we’re a victim of a crime the criminal is the US DoJ.

Text of the PPA Letter:

This week’s news from the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that Full Tilt Poker perpetrated a “global Ponzi scheme” that defrauded players has sent shockwaves through the poker community.  If true, these allegations detail a massive betrayal of player trust and will cause further hardship for the individual poker player, none of whom have been accused of doing anything wrong.  Based on the DOJ allegations, it is clear that the players who deposited money and played on Full Tilt Poker are truly the victims in all of this mess. 

The PPA believes that fundamental justice requires that players be repaid their money on deposit, and so we wanted to mention an avenue by which players can ask the DOJ to return funds to them through restitution in the pending case.  A federal statute establishes a number of rights for victims of crimes and requires that the government take steps to assist these victims. The DOJ put in place a set of guidelines and created a program, Victims and Witness Services, so that the government could live up to its statutory obligations to victims of crimes. Again, based on the allegations set forth by the DOJ, poker players who deposited money with Full Tilt Poker should be treated as crime victims and afforded the full rights and protections of our government.

If you have been unable to withdraw your money from Full Tilt Poker, you may wish to contact the Victim/Witness Coordinator at the U.S. Attorney’s office and ask that you be afforded the rights of a crime victim as outlined on their website. Let them know that you would like to be kept informed of any major developments in the case (United States v. Full Tilt, et al., 11 C 2564 and United States v. Scheinberg, et al., 10 CR 336) and that you are seeking restitution of lost funds.  

You can send your letter or email to:

Wendy Olsen Clancy
Victim/Witness Coordinator
United States Attorney's Office
One St. Andrew's Plaza
New York, New York 10007
(866) 874-8900
Wendy.Olsen@usdoj.gov

The PPA will provide you with information as this situation continues to develop.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

DoJ Alleges that Full Tilt was “Global Ponzi Scheme”

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the situation at Full Tilt Poker is far worse than expected:

On Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department in a civil suit accused Messrs. Lederer, Ferguson and Furst, and another director of the company behind the Full Tilt Poker website, of defrauding thousands of online poker players out of more than $300 million that is still owed to them. The government said that, in total, the 23 owners of the site had taken out $444 million in distributions over the years.

The Justice Department's civil suit against Full Tilt alleges that in 2010, Full Tilt began having trouble accepting new bets from players, thanks to U.S. efforts to crack down on payment-processing services for online gambling. But the U.S. says that Full Tilt's owners kept paying themselves millions of dollars anyway, fraudulently depleting the player funds on deposit with the company.