Howard Lederer agreed to a settlement with DoJ prosecutors that calls for the forfeiture of a small fraction of the $42 million sought by the government.
The former Full Tilt board member admitted no wrongdoing in the Stipulation and Order of Settlement of the Black Friday allegations against him and has to fork over a number of assets to comply with the agreement. Those assets include the undetermined funds in several bank accounts, two of his lesser real estate holdings, $1.25 million in cash, and an iconic Shelby Cobra automobile. Though the actual overall value of the assets in question remains indeterminate, various reports have set a price tag in the range of $2.5 million to almost $10 million.
In the second amended civil complaint filed against Lederer and his co-defendants, prosecutors were seeking roughly $42 million in assets from the two-time WSOP bracelet winner. So Lederer escapes the enormity of the allegations with the proverbial slap on the wrist, allowed to keep Las Vegas residences valued in the millions and a number of expensive vehicles.
Lederer also agreed not to work in the U.S. online gambling marketplace until such time that it is legal to do so and he receives clearance from the appropriate regulatory agencies. That language is similar to that found in the settlement agreement that Lederer’s co-defendant, Rafe Furst, agreed to roughly one month ago. Still on the hook with pending charges are fellow Full Tilt board members Chris Ferguson and Ray Bitar. The rumor mill is grinding stories that Ferguson’s attorneys are currently in negotiations with DoJ prosecutors and that “Jesus” will soon join Furst and Lederer on Easy Street. Bitar’s fate is still undecided, presently on electronic home-monitoring in California and facing criminal charges in addition to the civil allegations.
Lederer’s deal has been met with anger from the poker community. Seen as the Full Tilt board member second to only Bitar in knowing the most about the intricate workings of the company, Lederer did not earn any brownie points with players by remaining silent for about 1 and 1/2 years after the mismanagement at Full Tilt was discovered. “The Professor” was further lambasted by players and the media alike when he finally did speak out in a series of interviews that many regarded as less than truthful. And now, a sweet deal with the DoJ that allows him to keep most of his perhaps ill-gotten wealth has posters at online poker forums spewing hatred once again.