Full Tilt Poker Accused of Running a Ponzi Scheme
The troubled gambling giant has been accused of cheating players out of hundreds of millions of dollars. The accusation was made by federal prosecutors who said the gambling site and two top poker players defrauded players of over four hundred million US dollars.
Preet Bharara, a Manhattan attorney produced legal documents on that Tuesday that charged full tilt poker of misusing finances acquired from its online poker players and disbursed these to the associates of its board of directors. The members of the board of directors included two professional poker players including Howard Lederer and Christopher Ferguson. The attorney clearly stated that full tilt poker was not a legitimate poker company but a ponzi scheme that operated globally.
He claimed that full tilt poker had cheated and abused its own players defrauding of money to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. He said it was unacceptable that directors and other insiders took large amounts of money from the pockets of their most loyal customers. The worst bit is that full tilt was fully aware of their illegal actions and lied to the customers and the public about the safety and the security of the cash deposited with the company.
Players who played on full tilt pokers were misled by the company executives by telling them that the money the company was supposed to be holding in their accounts were safe. All this time, full tilt poker did not sustain in its accounts that were enough to pay all the players. As a matter of fact, full tilt poker used the money gotten from its online players to pay the owners and the board of directors more than 400 million US dollars.
The gambling giant’s problems started several months ago with the British regulators suspending its license earlier this year. The company is regulated from a town called Alderney in the Channel Islands. The British license was suspended by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, AGCC, after US charged the founders of its three largest online poker sites with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling.
It was alleged that the company along with absolute poker and poker stars came up with a criminal scheme to bribe or trick banks into facilitating the movement of billions of dollars that in form of illegal gambling profits.
Full tilt poker troubles do not seem like they will end any time soon. A Canadian consumer group from Quebec filled a suit against the company requesting that Canadian players members of the gambling site be compensated.
in other related news, Richard Bryan, a former governor of Nevada has declared in public that he was wrong in not supporting previous efforts to regulate online poker sites in the country. The renowned lawyer described regulation of online poker sites as a pure way for his state, Nevada, to prosper. He said tax revenue could only grow if online poker sites were licensed and regulated just like other businesses. Of late several politicians have been heard supporting government regulation of online pokers sites, calls fuelled by the full tilt poker saga.