DoJ in Talks With Chris Ferguson and US Full Tilt Payments Soon

Posted on January 31st, 2013 by Todd Wilkins

DoJ in Talks With Chris Ferguson and US Full Tilt Payments SoonFormer Full Tilt board member Chris Ferguson and the U.S. Department of Justice continue settlement negotiations in the Black Friday civil case.

Judge Kimba M. Wood of the Southern District of New York granted U.S. prosecutors additional time to file a response brief in the matter, citing the fact that the parties have engaged in extensive settlement conversations. U.S. attorneys now have until Feb.19 to answer Ferguson’s motion to dismiss the second amended complaint.

Fellow board members Howard Lederer and Rafe Furst both reached agreements with the DoJ late last year, with Lederer’s deal prompting an outcry from the poker community. “The Professor” agreed to relinquish several bank accounts, a couple of his lesser properties, the sum of $1.25 million, and a prized Shelby Cobra auto. The total amount turned over to the Feds was nowhere near the $42 million that prosecutors originally sought from Lederer. In addition, neither he not Furst admitted wrongdoing in the mismanagement of Full Tilt Poker.

Former Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar also has the civil action still pending against him. However, Bitar was additionally hit with a criminal indictment following his surrender to authorities last July and is facing hard time in the slammer on money laundering and bank fraud conspiracy charges.

DoJ to Provide Update on Remission Process Soon

In other news emanating from the DoJ, it’s been learned that an announcement regarding the reimbursement of U.S. Full Tilt players will be forthcoming soon, according to various news outlets. If you’ll recall, the Poker Players Alliance met with the DoJ last November and was informed that a claims administrator would be selected in January and begin the process of paying back U.S. players.

This is the last day of January and, not surprisingly, no official word has yet been offered by DoJ officials. There is no exact time table regarding how long the remission process will take once a firm begins analyzing claims of players. However, last November, the PPA estimated that it might take a year or so for U.S. players to receive payment. Roughly $159 million has yet to reach the pockets of Americans who played online poker at Full Tilt, with the two-year anniversary of Black Friday just around the corner in April.

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