Full Tilt Poker Hit With New $900 Million LawsuitOctober 21, 2011 7:53 am
If things weren’t already in dire straits at beleaguered poker room Full Tilt Poker, the company has now been served with a new class-action lawsuit seeking $900 million in damages.
The latest suit was filed in California by Lary Kennedy and Greg Omotoy on behalf of around 200,000 Full Tilt customers and accuses the company of “a pattern of racketeering,” and “brazen money-laundering.”
Included in the recent class action lawsuit are not only the founders and owners Ray Bitar, Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer, but also a whole slew of professional players who “helped promote the website and attract players,” such as Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen.
The complaint also asserts that Full Tilt misappropriated its players funds and “did not create financial reserves for amounts held on behalf of players, but instead distributed the money for operational expenses, marketing expenses, fees and losses arising from money laundering … and massive distributions to the individual defendants.”
The lawsuit also seeks more than $2 million in fees from law firm Cozen O’Connor, which represented Full Tilt even though, it is claimed, they knew the money came from illegal sources.
The case was filed under Kennedy v. Ferguson at U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and is now the third class action lawsuit piled up against Full Tilt. The first was filed on behalf of American players for the return of U.S. player funds, while the second dealt with the issues facing Canadian players.
In addition, the US Department of Justice is also seeking more than $1 billion in damages from Full Tilt Poker. In the midst of all this calamity, the poker room is looking to French investment group Bernard Tapie to help extricate itself from its considerable woes. Although talks are still ongoing, a set of wishful conditions by Bernard Tapie deemed necessary before a deal can be made are likely to hamper any efforts towards a solution.