Feds alledge Full Tilt Poker was a $390MM Ponzi scheme.

According to the article:

Is Full Tilt completely at fault here, or are there some mitigating factors?

I heard about this today. By the way, you forgot a link. Here you go.

I’m pretty sure it was a ponzi scheme. And I’m disappointed that “The Professor” seems to be a part of it. He was one of my favorite people to watch on Poker After Dark.

Jeez, isn’t running a legit gambling operation lucrative enough for them?

I can see what they are shitty about but how is that any different to what banks and other financial organisations do? If everyone asked to close their bank account the banks couldn’t fund it and they pay their executives many many millions. So is banking a Ponzi scheme?

Bank customers know the rules going in and their money is insured. Rarely do victims of a Ponzi scheme know what is happening and never is their money insured.

They should have stuck to spending the rake, and left alone the funds of the players. Glad I have no money on there!

Once the Feds call it a Ponzi scheme doesn’t that open the door to trying to recover money from people who “Won” money and were paid out?

Well, a bank doesn’t have enough cash sitting in the vault to pay off every depositor, but I think it does have it in assets of some form. The bank lends out money that will be repaid, recovered through foreclosure, or the obligation can be sold to another bank. It sounds like this poker site just gave the money away, counting on new players as a source of cash to pay the ones who leave.

How guilty are Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson really? I mean, legally they may be guilty, but I wonder how much they knew about the scam. I hope not much, because I like both of them and think they were trying to be a positive force for poker.

$42 million and $25 million each.

Enough to cash massive checks and be either involved or willfully blind.

And stash the money in Swiss Bank accounts ,outside US scrutiny.

Wow, they did? I hadn’t read that. And aren’t Swiss Bank accounts accessible to the US government once a criminal investigation is underway?

They were both on the board of directors. I don’t give a fuck if they were just figureheads; if you agree to be a Director of a company, you are in some measure responsible for that company’s actions.

I’m disappointed in Chris and Howard too. I also liked them. Funny, I had no Idea Chris’s nick-name was Jesus. Of course, I completely understand why none of the poker shows used that nick-name for him.

As for their guilt. It’s hard to say. It’s possible they were in the dark, but not very likely.

It doesn’t matter where the money is if the U.S. government knows where the thieves are.

If I am seen stealing $10,000 from a bank they can still convict me and send me to prison even if I hid the money somewhere nobody can find it.

Isn’t Jesus the only name he’s ever called on ESPN? Because I sure didn’t learn it anywhere else?

On topic, is this the reason Phil Ivey got away from Full Tilt recently? Obviously he’s not going to come right out and say Full Tilt is nothing but a scam but it sure seems like he knew what was going on and wanted out. Chris and Howard on the other hand, perhaps not so much.

Nope, not even close. Lending depositors’ money with a reasonable expectation that it will be repaid (with interest) is very, very different from giving it away as salary and bonuses.

Ivey boycotted the 2011 WSoP because of the FT problems.

FTP’s big crime seemed to be having far more in liabilities (potentially owed to players should they cash out) than they had in cash.

How is this any different than the stunt the banks have been pulling for years?

/A “friend” used to play on FTP. No problems with it. Cash in, cash out. No secretly held funds, as far as he could tell. He got out before the legal troubles though.

From the complaint, FTP mislead players:

“To protect both our players and business from financial problems, all player account funds are segregated and held separately from our operating accounts. Unlike some companies in our industry, we completely understand and accept that your account money belongs to you, not Full Tilt Poker.”

That just wasn’t true.