Full Tilt Poker, the online gambling site that was shut down by the federal government for allegedly operating a ‘Ponzi’ scheme, has just struck a signed deal to be bought by the French investment firm Groupe Bernard Tapie.
All the assets that Full Tilt Poker once owned were forcefully forfeited to the U.S. government, which then sold these assets to the GBT. The deal made by GBT which was brokered by the U.S. Department of Justice amounted to $80 million for the acquisition of Full Tilt Poker’s assets.
Players around the world were owed as much as $390 million having their accounts shut down by federal authorities last August. Out of those acounts, close to half of them are owned by players from the U.S.
Even though the U.S. government plans to dismiss the civil forfeiture proceedings, it will have no impact on individual proceedings. All pending proceedings against Full Tilt are removed and this also eliminates a potential liability for shareholders.
Included in the deal, the Department of Justice will be responsible for the paybacks to the U.S. players which amounts to roughly $150 million, whilst Groupe Bernard Tapie will alleviate the worries of the remaining players on the Full Tilt players around the world. For the U.S. players to gain compensation, they would have to apply to the DoJ.
Last August, the Full Tilt executives had been charged with raiding the players’ fund accounts by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and keeping the money for themselves instead of keeping the reassurances of the promised winnings to the players. Surprisingly enough, Howard Lederer and Christopher Ferguson who are considered poker celebrities were also accused for participating in the scheme.