US Justice Department Alleges That FullTiltPoker Was A Ponzi Scheme

According to, the Justice Department amended the charges already filed against Full Tilt Poker and some of the executives, alleging that Full Tilt Poker was a “Ponzi scheme that allowed the company to pay out $444 million to themselves and other owners, which included other famous poker players.”

“The government alleges Full Tilt executives misrepresented to the website’s players that the money the company was supposed to be holding in player accounts was safely held when it was actually being used for other purposes, including owner profits.”

“Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme,” said Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, in a statement.

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  1. da says

    “The government alleges… executives misrepresented… money… being safely held… when it was actually being used for other purposes, including owner profits.”

    Sounds like the banking industry and Wall St.

    They make poker players sound so innocent and vulnerable.

    Everyone wants to gamble, in some form or another. It’s human nature. But not everyone has the same comfort level with risk.

    Depositing funds into an online poker account seems like it would indicate a rather high comfort level. It’s not like they’re depositing funds into a CD or buying shares of a mutual fund.

    What is a “legitimate poker company”?

    Is it federally insured or something?

    Hope all the players get their money back.

  2. says

    I lived in Vegas for30 years. I’ve seen it all and I happen to know a few of these players. @ Rick, I can tell you it is way more then 440 million. On several occasions FTP has been caught with SUPER USERS who had the ability to see others cards. I stopped playing at FTP because of thoe horrific beats I would take. I feel bad for all the others out there who FTP still owes money to but I doubt they will see that money anytime soon.

  3. says


    A bit of “irony” I thinks….

    Howard Lederer:

    Always was consider the ‘ mathematician’ of poker players, not making a move until carefully calculating the odds & his chances of winning any particular hand of poker.

    I wonder if he applied this approach, to the odds of getting caught in this and what it would cost him in the long run…if he was wrong?

    Christopher Ferguson:

    His ‘nickname’ around the poker world is “Jesus”…I guess he has fallen a bit on this.

    You would have to think, some of the other 3-6 top famous Full Tilt players…may also in the end be caught up in this…one way or another. IMHO


  4. LindaM says

    I went to Vegas back in the boom days I had a great time playing, I lost my shirt a few times but I sure had a swingin time.
    When the basically unregulated online gambling sites hit the scene I just thought wow is anyone actually stupid enough to think the owners would ever NOT look at everyone’s cards. I mean sure I hope everyone who lost money fraudulently gets their money back but I can;t help but feel they are the same ones still waiting on that Nigerian lottery win they paid the transfer fee for already. Twice.

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