Feds Accuse Lederer and Ferguson of Running Full Tilt Poker as a Global Ponzi Scheme

by Lou on September 20, 2011

The US Department of Justice recently upped the ante in an amended complaint by accusing Howard Lederer (pictured) and Christopher Ferguson of running Full Tilt Poker as a Ponzi scheme and defrauding poker players out of more than $300 million.

“Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme,” said Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.   The amended complaint alleges that Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, and two other directors for Full Tilt Poker, ran a Ponzi scheme in which they paid $444 million to themselves and other owners—which include other well-known poker players.

The government alleges that Full Tilt executives used player’s money—supposedly held in player accounts—for other purposes, including disbursements as profits to Full Tilt’s owners.

In a recently-released statement, Bharara claims Full Tilt “cheated and abused its own players to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars,” and that “insiders lined their own pockets with funds picked from the pockets of their most loyal customers while blithely lying to both players and the public alike about the safety and security of the money deposited with the company.”

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