Full Tilt Poker under Investigation

Full Tilt Poker is one of the largest online poker rooms available to US citizens and reports have surfaced that the online poker room is currently under investigation. A federal grand jury in Manhattan is investigating the online poker room and indictments could be brought against some of the most well known and best poker pros in the industry.

The investigation of Full Tilt Poker is centering on Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer, both who are some of the best professional poker pros in the business. The investigation is looking into if the online poker room has broken any gambling and money-laundering laws as online gambling is illegal in the United States.

At least two people who have been in dispute with Full Tilt have been talked to by prosecutors and FBI agents and those investigating are paying close attention to possible money laundering violations, according to those who are involved in the case. The government could be looking into the money laundering charges because if they can prove it did take place then authorities would have to cooperate in countries where gambling is legal as well.  Full Tilt’s poker room says it is registered in Alderney and regulated there as well. Alderney is located in the United Kingdom’s Channel Islands.

A Los Angeles civil attorney, who is representing Lederer and Ferguson, Eric Jackson, commented that his clients have not been contacted about the grand jury inquiry. He commented: “We are not going to comment about a speculative grand jury investigation that we are not aware of.”

Both poker pros have now filed a motion to dismiss the civil case but they have yet to address the allegations at this point. If the government is successful in charging Lederer and Ferguson they would have the upper hand when it comes to shutting down online gambling in the United States.

Nelson Rose an author of books on gambling law and an advisor to companies in the gambling industry commented that the government is ‘waging this war of intimidation’ and ‘there are not a lot of good statutes, so they go after high-profile targets and try to intimidate everybody.’

The justice department is still maintaining that online poker is in violation of the old Wire Act and then the UIGEA in 2006 helped to maintain this opinion. Various bills are circulating in congress that would give states the authority to allow and regulate poker in their area but nothing has been passed as of yet.

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