Former American customers of Full Tilt Poker whose bankrolls were frozen following April, 2011’s Black Friday may be only weeks away from being reunited with their money. The latest update on the saga, posted by Poker Players Alliance executive director John Pappas on a major poker discussion forum, indicates that the Department of Justice and its designated claims processor, Garden City Group, have approved approximately $82 million in refunds to date.
Those refunds correspond to roughly 30,000 “undisputed” refund applicants who agreed with the balance information provided to the Department of Justice following the original Full Tilt’s collapse and 2012 asset sale to longtime rival PokerStars.
Still to resolved, according to Pappas, are an unspecified number of disputed claims or refund applications that contained filing errors. Pappas also expected a new update on the GCG Internet site used to communicate information on the FTP process, FullTiltPokerClaims.com, though no update has been forthcoming as of this report. (Update: Late on Jan. 24th, GCG issued a brief statement confirming most of the information herein. See complete text at bottom.)
The issue of former Full Tilt “red pros” and affiliate marketers who received varying levels of compensation from the former FTP has yet to be resolved. Wrote Pappas in a 2+2 post, “The DoJ and Garden City are working on this very diligently and I trust they will be sharing news with this affected class of players soon. As they have indicated, there will be a new filing window for those players.”
The Poker Players Alliance does not have any official role in the Full Tilt Poker refund process, but has put itself forward as a communications liaison between the tens of thousands of affected players and the DOJ’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, the specific agency responsible for coordinating the remission process.
The $82 million claimed to be reserved to date for payment of the undisputed refunds represents approximately half of the $160 million reserved from PokerStars settlement with the DOJ, which allowed the FTP remission to occur. The application process for those refunds closed last November.
The additional disputed refund applications and accounts belonging to former affiliates and minor pros may represent disproportionately high dollar amounts on average, yet are not expected to exceed the $75-80 million remaining in the remission fund. Any overage after all remission applications have been approved and processed becomes the property of the US government.
. . . . .
Late on Friday, Garden City Group provided a brief update confirming the numbers provided by Pappas, and adding that payments are expected to go out via ACH (Automated Clearing House) by the end of February. The complete update:
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING PAYMENT TO PETITIONERS
WHO CONFIRMED THEIR FTP ACCOUNT BALANCES
GCG has been informed that the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section has approved the first round of payments. This distribution will include approximately 30,000 Petitions totaling $82 million submitted by Petitioners with timely, complete Petitions, who confirmed their FTP Account Balances. GCG is currently working with the bank selected by the DOJ to set up the payment process. GCG expects to issue payments via ACH before the end of February 2014 and will post further updates on the payment process in 2-3 weeks.
Please continue to check this website for updates regarding the payment process and this administration.
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