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LosAngeles版 - Full Tilt Poker A Ponzi Scheme
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话题: full话题: tilt话题: poker话题: mr话题: ferguson
1 (共1页)
v****e
发帖数: 19471
1
MEDIA & MARKETINGSEPTEMBER 20, 2011, 5:15 P.M. ET.U.S. Alleges Full Tilt Pok
er Was Ponzi Scheme .Article Video Comments (244) more in Media & Marketing
?.
Email Print Save ↓ More .
.smaller Larger
By ALEXANDRA BERZON
The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday accused poker celebrities Howard Lede
rer and Christopher Ferguson among other executives of a major poker website
of defrauding poker players out of more than $300 million.
The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday accused poker celebrities Howard Led
erer and Christopher Ferguson among other executives of a major poker websit
e of defrauding poker players out of more than $300 million. WSJ's Alexandra
Berzon joins Digits with details. (Photo: FullTiltPoker.com)
.Deal Journal
Highlights From the Lawsuit
.The U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York filed a motion Tuesd
ay to amend an earlier civil complaint to allege that Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Lede
rer and two other directors for the website, Full Tilt Poker, operated what
the Justice Department says was a Ponzi scheme that allowed the company to p
ay out $444 million to themselves and other owners, which included other fam
ous poker players.
In the motion to amend the complaint, the government alleges Full Tilt execu
tives misrepresented to the website's players that the money the company was
supposed to be holding in player accounts was safely held when it was actua
lly being used for other purposes, including payments to owners.
The distributions to the owners, including Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Lederer, con
tinued even as funds to pay out creditors—the poker players—dwindled becau
se government investigators had made it increasingly impossible to move play
er money into company-affiliated bank accounts, the government says.
"Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme," s
aid Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, in a statement.
Getty Images
Chris Ferguson in 2008 in Melbourne, Australia.
.In the statement, Mr. Bharara said Full Tilt "cheated and abused its own pl
ayers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars" and that "insiders lin
ed their own pockets with funds picked from the pockets of their most loyal
customers while blithely lying to both players and the public alike about th
e safety and security of the money deposited with the company."
An attorney for Full Tilt said he had no comment, and that neither did Mr. F
erguson. Attempts to reach Mr. Lederer on the phone weren't successful.
In response to the earlier version of the complaint, Full Tilt and other pok
er sites that had accepted U.S. bets have denied any wrongdoing, arguing tha
t the U.S. laws covering online gambling aren't clear. The earlier version d
idn't allege defrauding of players or improper payments to owners.
The government is also seeking money it says the four Full Tilt directors go
t from the site, which allegedly includes $42 million for Mr. Lederer and $2
5 million for Mr. Ferguson, who was allocated $85 million from the company b
ut never collected all the money, the government says.
The government's amended complaint also alleges that two other directors def
rauded players. One of those named directors is Raymond Bitar, the company's
chief executive, who was earlier indicted by the government for alleged ban
k fraud and money laundering. The company had previously denied any wrongdoi
ng in response to the earlier allegations.
The allegations follow months of speculation that Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Leder
er, who grew famous winning poker tournaments, might be dragged into a feder
al case that began in April and has led to the suspension of Full Tilt's ope
rations.
Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Lederer and others started Full Tilt in 2004 and steered i
t to become an online giant, used by thousands of players betting billions o
f dollars every year.
In April the Justice Department indicted executives at three major online po
ker companies on charges of illegal gambling, bank fraud and money launderin
g, including Mr. Bitar of Full Tilt Poker, who has been out of the country,
and hasn't been arrested or entered a plea.
In civil charges the government also sought $3 billion from the companies an
d, through a court order, seized the domain names from the sites, which stop
ped operating in the U.S. following the action. Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Lederer
have not been charged criminally.
The Justice Department has long held that online poker is illegal under seve
ral federal laws, while the poker web sites such as Full Tilt that operated
in the U.S. argued that poker is not illegal in part because it is a game th
at involves skill and not purely chance.
In a statement in August the company acknowledged that it had problems proce
ssing player money, along with also losing $115 million it says was seized b
y the government and $42 million it says was stolen from a third-party payme
nt processor.
"While the company was on the way to addressing the problems caused by these
processors, Full Tilt Poker never anticipated that the DOJ would proceed as
it did by seizing our global domain name and shutting down the site worldwi
de," the company said in a statement in August.
It said it is seeking outside investment to pay back all its creditors.
The charges have upended an industry that became a booming online business a
nd a cultural phenomenon in the last decade. They have also re-framed the de
bate around the legalization of online gambling.
The crackdown has shaken a large universe of poker fans, which researcher H2
Gambling Capital estimates included players using 1.7 million active accoun
ts in the U.S. who before the April crackdown were wagering around $14 billi
on a year online.
U.S.-based players are still owed around $160 million from Full Tilt Poker,
according to the government.
According to the latest filing from the Justice Department, Full Tilt Poker
had just $60 million in the bank just before the April crackdown occurred, w
hile it owed $390 million to players around the world.
Yet the company had been distributing around $10 million a month to its owne
rs, the government alleges. Those payments stopped in April, according to th
e government.
The company had continued to issue public statements that told players their
funds were safe. Following the indictments of its executives in April, the
company said in a statement, "Full Tilt Poker would like to assure all playe
rs that their funds remain safe and secure."
In June, Mr. Lederer reported to others at the company that there was only $
6 million left, the government alleges.
Write to Alexandra Berzon at a**************[email protected]
z*********n
发帖数: 94654
2
not surprised

Pok
Marketing
Lede
website
Led

【在 v****e 的大作中提到】
: MEDIA & MARKETINGSEPTEMBER 20, 2011, 5:15 P.M. ET.U.S. Alleges Full Tilt Pok
: er Was Ponzi Scheme .Article Video Comments (244) more in Media & Marketing
: ?.
: Email Print Save ↓ More .
: .smaller Larger
: By ALEXANDRA BERZON
: The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday accused poker celebrities Howard Lede
: rer and Christopher Ferguson among other executives of a major poker website
: of defrauding poker players out of more than $300 million.
: The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday accused poker celebrities Howard Led

v****e
发帖数: 19471
3
I was in Maui and this bartender was complaining to me how his "thousands of
dollars" was "frozen at Full Tilt Poker" LOL

【在 z*********n 的大作中提到】
: not surprised
:
: Pok
: Marketing
: Lede
: website
: Led

z*********n
发帖数: 94654
4
我在好奇LA那帮POKER友们有没有被冻结资金
曾经跟那群人有过一段时间的交集,不知道还每周poker不了,呵呵

of

【在 v****e 的大作中提到】
: I was in Maui and this bartender was complaining to me how his "thousands of
: dollars" was "frozen at Full Tilt Poker" LOL

t*****e
发帖数: 2470
5
不知道你说谁,不过我认识的某人被冻结了几百刀,极度淡定。

【在 z*********n 的大作中提到】
: 我在好奇LA那帮POKER友们有没有被冻结资金
: 曾经跟那群人有过一段时间的交集,不知道还每周poker不了,呵呵
:
: of

a***a
发帖数: 40617
6
因为他有你这个被冻结了几M的垫底?

【在 t*****e 的大作中提到】
: 不知道你说谁,不过我认识的某人被冻结了几百刀,极度淡定。
t*****e
发帖数: 2470
7

滚,在你下次见我之前我决定与你断绝关系

【在 a***a 的大作中提到】
: 因为他有你这个被冻结了几M的垫底?
s*******g
发帖数: 1607
8
aww you two were so cute together

【在 t*****e 的大作中提到】
:
: 滚,在你下次见我之前我决定与你断绝关系

v****e
发帖数: 19471
9
very meaty relationship indeed

【在 s*******g 的大作中提到】
: aww you two were so cute together
t*****e
发帖数: 2470
10

stfu, trouble li said you would like to take me to some fine dining
experience when i came back from china last year. And it's still not
happening
yo dude, you disappointed me a big time.

【在 s*******g 的大作中提到】
: aww you two were so cute together
s*******d
发帖数: 17566
11
md,this is a public bbs, you two find a private place to flirt...

【在 t*****e 的大作中提到】
:
: stfu, trouble li said you would like to take me to some fine dining
: experience when i came back from china last year. And it's still not
: happening
: yo dude, you disappointed me a big time.

t*****e
发帖数: 2470
12

this forum is rather regional

【在 s*******d 的大作中提到】
: md,this is a public bbs, you two find a private place to flirt...
1 (共1页)
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