DOJ Coming After Full Tilt Poker Owners Assets

A new amendment has been filed by the United States Department of Justice that includes Howard Lederer, Ray Bitar, Rafe Furst and Chris Ferguson. The four men face forfeiture charges as part of the second amended complaint.

The complaint states the financial history of distributions that were paid to the four owners of Full Tilt Poker, which comes to around $137 million. The complaint cites many statutes including the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the Wire Act and the Travel Act. The Department of Justice is calling the distribution of funds an ‘illegal enterprise’ and the distributions are now subject to forfeiture.

The complaint states: “There is probable cause to believe that the Defendant Properties constitute, or are traceable to property used in illegal gambling businesses.” The amended complaint is seeking forfeiture amounts from all four owners in the following amounts:

Howard Lederer               $42.5 million

Chris Ferguson                  $42 million

Ray Bitar                              $40.8 million

Rafe Furst                           $11.7 million

The complaint details the amount of forfeiture sought as well as how both Lederer and Bitar spent the money they were given in the close to four and a half year period before Black Friday took place. The DOJ has stated that Lederer used the distributions from FTP to fund his personal bank accounts, as well as retirement funds and mortgage payments. The DOJ also reports that Lederer used the money to purchase several properties and vehicles.

Bitar was mentioned in this portion of the complaint as well and the DOJ reported that Bitar used the distributions for two homes, both of which are located in Glendora, California. However, the DOJ did not go into detail about Chris Ferguson and Rafe Furst’s purchases with any distribution funds.

The complaint also lists almost a dozen additional ‘Claims for Relief’ which were created to justify the forfeiture of each owner’s cash. The DOJ is alleging that Full Tilt Poker is subject to a great deal of violation s which includes money laundering, illegal gambling, bank fraud, wire fraud, travel offenses and conspiracy.

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