'' Full Tilt Poker | DOJ Seize Funds | Ferguson | Lederer
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Copyright © 2023. All Rights Reserved. Poker History. Editor: Erik Smith.



The Full Tilt Poker saga was a confusing and complicated affair, which took its toll mainly on the many players, who suddenly had to see millions of dollars locked up on the insolvent site. But for the targeted founders, the case would soon turn out to be costly, too.

Six months after the DoJ moved to shut down Full Tilt Poker, the department unveiled that had also launched a series of civil complaints against Rafe Furst, Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson. The civil complaints against the four Full Tilt Founders could not only mean potentially long prison terms for their involvement in what the government called a “Ponzi Scheme”; it also resulted in millions of dollars confiscated as part of the proceedings.

The news about the freezing of the FTP board members funds were broken by poker blog Subject:Poker, who had for long been covering the case closely. In September 2011, the site revealed court documents that showed how the DoJ was targeting the four board members and their bank accounts, amounting to several million dollars in each case.

According to the allegations put forward by the DoJ, the four “FTP insiders” had been funneling approximately $444 million dollars in profit sharing and distributions through the Tiltware LCC holding firm. From this amount, Ray Bitar was alleged to have received $41 million, Howard Lederer $42 million, and Rafe Furst $11.7 million. Chris Ferguson was allocated $85 million, but only received $25 million according to the DoJ, with the remaining amount listed as owed to him by the company.

As part of the proceedings against the FTP insiders, the funds, which were located in bank accounts all across the world from the UK to Switzerland, were seized by the FBI and other law personnel, leaving yet another dent in the already tarnished reputation of Full Tilt Poker and its founding owners. 

Read more about Black Friday.