Poker media outlet, Poker News, has spoken to Full Tilt Poker lawyer, Anne Madonia, about the recent transfer of assets of Full Tilt to PokerStars. The transfer took place today after the United States government receive payment as according to the settlement agreement.
Since the transfer has taken place, PokerStars will now be able to provide the balances owed to players outside of the US in the next ninety days. US players will in turn be refunded their cash via the Department of Justice.
Anne Madonia and Barry Boss of Cozen O’Conner handled the transfer of assets and this firm has represented Full Tilt Poker throughout this ordeal. When the deal was announced, Boss commented: “We have worked incredibly hard over the past fifteen months to reach an agreement that would achieve Full Tilt Poker’s primary objective: enabling all of its customers to be compensated. I am gratified that we were finally able to achieve this objective.”
PokerNews spoke with Madonia after the transfer took place and they asked the FTP lawyer a few questions. Madonia was asked if a timetable has been put in place for when PokerStars will hand over $322 million to the US government and if it will be in one large sum or several. Madonia stated that there is a timetable and she believes that a $125 million payment is due in a year and then $100 million payment will be due within a two year time frame.
PokerNews asked Madonia how the negotiation process took place and asked if Full tilt Poker was able to set terms during the negotiations. Madonia responded:
“We never acquiesced to that fact in negotiations; you really have no leverage if you say you have no leverage. However, the Full Tilt companies had various avenues to consider, including bankruptcy, contesting and defending the civil forfeiture complaint in and of itself, and so that’s where the leverage was, that they still had the opportunity to pursue other avenues and not just acquiesce into forfeiture.
Again, when you have to delicately balance the many stakeholders, that’s something they took into consideration. Bankruptcy might not result in the players getting paid, it might leave all of their employees without jobs, it might give vendors much more difficulty collecting what’s due to them, so that’s what the leverage for Full Tilt, they did have other avenues to pursue, but this one really made the most sense for all the parties involved.”
Madonia was also asked if board members such as Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson and Ray Bitar were consulted during the negotiations and if they approved of the final settlement. Madonia stated that they were involved and the transaction was submitted to all three men and all three approved of the final settlement.
PokerNews also asked Madonia if Cozen O’Connor’s will still represent FTP since the assets have now been transferred to PokerStars. Madonia stated the representation is not 100% over since they will have to tie up loose ends or assist with other matters.
Madonia was able to provide more insight to the negotiations within the PokerStars and Full Tilt case. Readers can view the full interview with Madonia here.
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