The United States Department of Justice federal attorney - Preet Bharara - has accused FTP (Full Tilt Poker) of being a Global Ponzi Scheme, cheating online poker players out of millions of dollars, and indicted them on fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling charges. He has also said that they are linked to organized crime, that Executive officers used player funds to support their own lavish lifestyles; and have lied to the public regarding the security of funds deposited.
We all know that FTP has been unable to pay back players to the tune of $300 million. But according to court motions filed, two of the accounts seized by the DoJ on Black Friday are worth a total of nearly $300, million.
Chris Ferguson - founder member of the beleaguered online poker site has now taken a stand, and filed a number of motions with the Southern District of New York Courts - claiming that FTP associated company's have rights to these funds. One motion claims that Kolyma and Vantage has the rights to a sum of $98,276,540 in several bank accounts. While another claims that Pocket Kings Ltd. and Tiltware LLC as the defendants, has rights to funds in various bank accounts totaling $196,553,080. It looks pretty obvious to us, why FTP could not pay back members money?! Apparently there are also funds in 11 seized Irish Bank accounts, although no specific amount has been mentioned.
These documents support the filings submitted by Ray Bitar back in September, citing the same laws. The affidavit bears Fergusons signature and states:"As an authorized agent of claimant Filco Ltd., I Chris Fergusson, hereby verify that the foregoing facts are true and correct and made under penalty of perjury." So, he finally fighting back, up until this time; this online poker multi-millionaire and live poker player extraordinaire has been extremely tight lipped about the depth of his involvement.
In another motion to the same court, his legal representative Jonathan Harris, requests for special permission to have Ian J. Imrich Esq, represent Ferguson as his defense attorney - pro hac vice. Imrich is an out-of-state lawyer, does not reside in Los Angeles, and according to Harris - is a skillful attorney, a person of integrity and experienced in federal law practice.
Bearing all of this in mind, and the fact that Group Bernard Tapie has negotiated with the DoJ on behalf of FTP, and also agreed to buy the company for $80 million; it makes sense that they do make attempts to get their hands on seized funds. While it might be convenient for the DoJ accusations for FTP not to be able to pay back their members, this might be considered to be an elaborate bluff, seeing as they are holding the bucks so to speak.
Part of the agreement for the rescue of the company with both Group Bernard Tapie and the DoJ, was that members must be refunded. Problem is; being between this rock and a hard place with the funds of their online poker members, will not get them paid back any time soon. Who knows how long it could take?