Full Tilt Poker Lawyers Speak Out Against New DoJ Allegations

This story was published more than 12 years ago.

Legal representatives for Full Tilt Poker disputed the U.S. Department of Justice's shocking allegations that the troubled poker site acted as a global Ponzi scheme.

Wasington based Full Tilt attorney Jeff Ifrah told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that, "I disagree strongly with the allegation that FTP operated as a global Ponzi scheme. Full Tilt Poker may have made mistakes, but I have seen no evidence to support the Department of Justice's characterization of it as a global Ponzi scheme."

Full Tilt co-owner and board member Chris Ferguson's attorney Ian Imrich agreed with Ifrah's assessment saying, "While the government has obviously taken issue with the underlying activities of FTP, under any reasonable interpretation, the world-wide operations of the online cardroom are not a so-called Ponzi scheme."

The statements come a day after it was revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice had amended its civil complaint against Full Tilt and its investors, claiming the former poker giant operated as "a global Ponzi Scheme" by stealing hundreds of millions of dollars that was owed to players to pay off board members and owners.

In other Full Tilt related news, it was revealed that U.S. Congresswoman Shelly Berkley (D-NV) had previously accepted about $20,000 in political donations from Full Tilt Poker. Berkley has been a long time advocate of legalization of online poker. A spokesperson for Berkley indicated that the funds would not be kept, saying "These allegations are extremely troubling and, if true, threaten to unfairly cast a shadow over the entire online poker community thanks to the alleged actions of a few individuals,"

It was also revealed that Democrat Barney Frank from Massachusetts had accepted $18.600 from Full Tilt in political donations.

Those named in the Justice Department's complaint as defendants are also having other professional difficulties, with Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson being suspended by the Epic Poker League pending the outcome of the case.

Rafe Furst, a defendant added to the litigation yesterday issued a quote on the case, saying "It sucks to have to endure the character assassination and potshots. From a moral, personal and interpersonal perspective I feel I’ve got nothing to hide. And since I trust in our system of justice and have the utmost respect for my legal counsel, I will refrain from talking about the case until it’s resolved."

"Please consider that not everything you read is true, and our society is built on a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. It’s difficult to take back hurtful things that you might later regret, when the damage has already been done."