Breaking News: Full Tilt Poker forfeits assets to DOJ
Earlier this week it was reported, originally by Subject: Poker, that Chris Ferguson could have been single-handedly responsible for holding up the forfeiture of Full Tilt Poker’s assets to the US Department of Justice (and therefore holding up the eventual sale of the company’s assets by the DOJ to Groupe Bernard Tapie) but on Tuesday we learned that the Full Tilt forfeiture to the DOJ has indeed been finalized, clearing yet another hurdle for the potential sale.
The forfeiture agreement also saw the dismissal of the civil lawsuit filed by several poker players last June according to a report in GamingIntelligence.com (located behind a pay-wall). While the forfeiture paves the way for the sale to Groupe Bernard Tapie, Laurent Tapie, told Gaming Intelligence that the deal was far from final, with several important steps still needing to take place.
Among the remaining hurdles regarding the sale to GBT is the repayment of some $150 million to US players by the Department of Justice, and a further $150million owed to players from around the world, which Groupe Bernard Tapie has agreed to take over.
Another hurdle, which Laurent Tapie spoke about to Gaming Intelligence, is the licensing, or lack thereof, by the Aldernay Gambling Control Commission. Tapie originally hoped for a January 1, 2012 launch, which had been pushed back to March 1, 2012, a date that now appears to be pushed back even farther.
Other factors in the agreement between the DOJ and GBT (none of which is set in stone) are:
* Groupe Bernard Tapie will not allow any member of current Full Tilt Poker management to have a stake in the re-formed company
* Current owners who do not sit on the Board of Directors of Full Tilt Poker can have a passive, minority share
* The Department of Justice will dismiss the civil and criminal complaints against Full Tilt Poker, but NOT against individuals named in the amended complaints: Ray Bitar, Rafe Furst, Chris Ferguson, and Howard Lederer
When it comes to the civil complaint filed by Todd Terry and a group of poker players (referenced above) alleging RIC-type violations by Full Tilt Poker, according to a ruling handed down on Monday by U.S. District Judge Leonard B. Sand the suit was “in-part” dismissed, with the judge offering the following statement in his Memorandum and Order:
“At this stage in the litigation it remains unclear whether the direct cause of Plaintiffs’ injuries was the decision by the U.S. Attorney’s office to temporarily shut down the Full Tilt Poker website and seize the company’s assets or was instead, as Plaintiffs’ conversion allegations suggest, the subsequent decision by one or more of the Defendants to halt player withdrawals from the Full Tilt Poker website. What is clear is that in neither case was the direct cause of the injuries the racketeering offenses alleged in the complaint,
“In this case, Plaintiffs have identified no defendants who reside in the Southern District of New York or who employed an agent in the district. Nor do they allege that any of the defendants can be “found” in “the district. Instead, they assert that the various Defendants identified in the Complaint conducted “significant and continuous business in the State of New York” through their operation or facilitation of the Full Tilt Poker web portal. Compl. § 15. They make no specific allegations, however, that any of the defendants conducted “significant and continuous business” in the Southern District specifically, via the Full Tilt Poker web portal. 2 Section 1965(a) provides: “Any civil action or proceeding under this chapter against any person may be instituted in the district court of the United States for any district in which such person resides, is found, has an agent, or transacts his affairs.” 18 U.S.C. § 1965(a).
“See Burt Decl. (identifying New Yorkers who used the Full Tilt Poker web portal but providing no indication of their district of residency or location of play). Nor have they alleged sufficient facts to establish any of the other bases of jurisdiction under § 1965(a). For this reason, we find that Plaintiffs have not met their burden of making out legally sufficient allegations of jurisdiction under §1965(b).”
Tags: Bernard Tapie, Bitar, Chris Ferguson, Civil Lawsuit, Criminal Complaints, Department Of Justice, Forfeiture, Full tilt Poker, Gambling Control, Gaming Intelligence, Gbt, Hurdle, Launch, Laurent Tapie, Lede, Minority Share, poker players, Rafe Furst, Set In Stone, Us Department Of Justice
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