Even though they’ve been shut down for months, online poker sites are still finding new ways to get themselves into trouble. Full Tilt Poker — probably the most popular site for high-stakes players — is accused of taking players’ deposit money and gambling with it.
After several high profile poker sites were shut down earlier this year, most came to an agreement with the government to unfreeze their assets so that they could refund their players’ deposits. Except Full Tilt’s coffers came up well short, and when prosecutors looked into it, they found that owners and management had tapped the secure accounts — where $US390 million had been deposited by players — for their personal use.
Oh, and those owners? They just happen to be some of the most visible high-stakes pros in poker, like Howard Lederer and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson.
Federal prosecutors call it a “global Ponzi scheme”, and the shoe kind of fits. The bill came due and the money wasn’t there. But not so, say pro-online poker advocates! Full Tilt was simply lying to their customers and embezzling funds. Which makes all the difference, I guess? [NY Times]