U.S. v. DiCristina Ruling Causes FTP Officials to Request Meeting with Federal Court

After last week’s ruling in Federal Court in the United States v. DiCristina case, Full Tilt Poker owners, including Howard Lederer, have asked to meet with the Federal Court. The ruling stated that poker does not fall under the Illegal Gambling Business Act and Lederer and others involved are hoping that the ruling will help their case.

Judge Jack B. Weinstein presided over the DiCristina case and ruled that poker is not constituted as ‘illegal gambling’ after Dr. Randal Heeb testified and showed many examples that poker is a game of skill. Because of this ruling, Lawrence DiCristina was cleared of all charges that were handed down for running an illegal poker game at his place of business in NY.

The FTP meeting with federal court would include Chris Ferguson and Rafe Furst, both board members of Full Tilt Poker. Both Ferguson and Furst are being represented by different firms but they have asked to be included in the meeting. Lederer has stated that if the court agrees with Weinstein then the charges of fraud and money laundering that he faces for his involvement with FTP would not have a legal basis.

Elliot Peters, the attorney who represents Lederer, wrote a letter to Judge Leonard B. Sand, which read: “How the government approaches a potential amended complaint, and how the defendants approach moving for its dismissal, are both matters which can be more efficiently handled if the parties have an opportunity to make the Court aware of their plans and views in light of DiCristina.”

Just yesterday, the government responded to the letter by stating that they do not believe a ‘status conference’ with Lederer and the court is necessary at the current time. The response read: “the Government respectively disagrees with many of the conclusions reached in the DiCristina Order. The proper forum for addressing the merit and impact, if any, of that Order in this action would be for Messrs, Lederer, Furst, and Ferguson to argue in any motions to dismiss the second amended complaint what persuasive weight the DiCristina Order should be given, and for the Government to respond. Addressing these issues now in a status conference would be premature and unworkable.”


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