Ok, this one is not about a New York tech company per say, but since its happening in our backyard and effects a ton of folks on the internet, we thought it was worth mentioning. The long and short of it, Preet Bharara of the Souther District says Full Tilt Poker and its board of directors defrauded players to the tune of $440 million.
The complaint names executives from Full Tilt alongside famous poker pros like Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer. Mr. Bharara said in a statement that Full Tilt, “cheated and abused its own players to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars” and that “insiders lined their own pockets with funds picked from the pockets of their most loyal customers while blithely lying to both players and the public alike about the safety and security of the money deposited with the company.”
The presser from the US Attorney’s office is below.
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the filing of a motion to amend the forfeiture and civil money laundering complaint in the matter of United States v. PokerStars, et. al. The proposed Amended Complaint alleges that Full Tilt Poker and its Board of Directors, including Raymond Bitar, Howard Lederer, Christopher Ferguson and Rafael Furst, defrauded players by misrepresenting that their funds on deposit in online gambling accounts were safe, secure, and available for withdrawal at any time. In reality, Full Tilt Poker did not maintain funds sufficient to repay all players, and in addition, the company used player funds to pay board members and other owners more than $440 million since April 2007. On April 15, 2011, the U.S. Attorney‘s Office for the Southern District of New York filed the original complaint against Full Tilt and two other Internet poker companies and unsealed a criminal Indictment charging eleven defendants, including Bitar, with bank fraud, illegal gambling and money laundering offenses.