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Dave Beans

Full Tilt Poker = "giant Ponzi Scheme"

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Nearly half a billion dollars used to pay "executives"...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2039775/Full-Tilt-Poker-giant-Ponzi-scheme-defrauded-members-440-million.html

An online poker company run by famed poker champions was a giant Ponzi scheme, federal investigators claimed today.

Department of Justice officials said Full Tilt Poker took hundreds of millions of dollars from members account to pay out hefty salaries to executives.

Among the board members, world champion players, Howard Lederer and Christopher Ferguson, are accused of 'picking the pockets of loyal customers'.

Over the last four years, the company allegedly used $444million of player funds to pay board members and other owners.

'Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme,' said U.S. attorney Preet Bharara.

'Full Tilt 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.'

While the extent of the fraud is incredible, the news of wrongdoing is not a complete surprise: the company was shut down in the spring during a widespread crackdown directed towards internet gambling sites.

In April the 11 individuals involved with the company, including one board member, were charged with illegal gambling, bank fraud and money laundering.

Today's announcement came as prosecutors re-evaluated the ongoing lawsuit against the company.

In addition to the original April charges, the U.S. attorney added more money laundering charges to the company's rap sheet, and is forcing it to pay back all money gained from the reported scheme.

Along with breaking federal laws, the company violated promises to participants who had been told that their money was not to be touched.

It is unclear what the outcome of the lawsuit will be, but the only action that has taken place so far is the closure of the site. U.S.-based visitors to the site are now greeted by a note from the Department of Justice which says that the domain name may only be used 'to facilitate players' withdrawals of funds held by Full Tilt Poker.'

The same message appears on two other sites- PokerStars and Absolute Poker- as their executives are also facing charges and civil suits.

According to investigators, the company only had $60 million of the $390 million it owed its players in March.

Online gambling sites have been a long term pest for federal prosecutors, and in 2006 they made it illegal to accept money from unlawful gambling, but that hasn't stopped the proliferation of sites.

Many, like Full Tilt, simply claim their operations to be based internationally or in offshore accounts to avoid federal regulations.

Lederer and Ferguson are major players in the poker world, having won two and one World Series of Poker Championships respectively. The duo were among the six poker stars to form the company in 2004.

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Incredible. But just swap the word 'Bank' or 'property development company' for 'on-line Poker' and I would struggle to see the difference.

My first thought as well, it appears having the bank word in front stops any prosecution or investigation.

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The internet was developed to the extent it was to circumvent border gambling controls.......

Anyone stupid enough to use online gaming sites deserves to be ripped off. It is all about statistics and these determine you have far more chances of losing your money than winning it.

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The difference? They chose to deliberately flaunt the US anti gambling regs for half a decade. The US it seems, is now throwing all sorts of crap at them in case it sticks. :lol:

A lot of decision and opinion makers in the US have recently been made personally aware of 'Ponzi' and some of them have lost everything. Connect the dots..?

Edited by RichB

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Before passing judgment, remember the US government has a long history of fabricating evidence to get their way.

On line gambling is very profitable and legal outside the USA, so why run a Ponzi scheme? So if the US can trump up charges based on the lie that gambling is a crime, they can claim that those proceeds are money laundered and therefore get extradition.

Gambling is for losers and suckers, but don't believe anything that comes from the US legal system.

>>The internet was developed to the extent it was to circumvent border gambling controls.......

Really? so the us military didn't really need a nuclear-bomb proof communications network during the cold war?

Edited by Peter Hun

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Poker is a skill game in my opinion. Yes there is an element of luck to it - but you do need genuine skill at it if you're going to be successful. Your casino games are your Mugs games.

And re: comparing online gambling sites to banks?

Completely disagree - yes you have those occasional dodgy ones that start using players money to cover any expenses if they have cash flow problems, but if you find a reputable company (and ones that operate in the new regulated markets spreading through Europe) you'll not have any problems with your money 99% of the time. (leaving 1% in for the times when you're deemed to be 'too successful' and they freeze your account!)

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Before passing judgment, remember the US government has a long history of fabricating evidence to get their way.

On line gambling is very profitable and legal outside the USA, so why run a Ponzi scheme? So if the US can trump up charges based on the lie that gambling is a crime, they can claim that those proceeds are money laundered and therefore get extradition.

Gambling is for losers and suckers, but don't believe anything that comes from the US legal system.

>>The internet was developed to the extent it was to circumvent border gambling controls.......

Really? so the us military didn't really need a nuclear-bomb proof communications network during the cold war?

Well that as welll....... ;) Not withstanding the Electro Magnetic Pulse.... Wiki Explanation

The need for uninterrupted global communications (to assist US dominance in the World) was the driver behind the Space Shuttle program....

Northwood (home of UK strategic Command) as do its US equivalents can have real time video feed from any operation anywhere in the world. Remember the pictures of inside the White House when they took Bin Laden down? These would have been from helmet camera's worn by the seal team which talk direct to overhead satellites put there by the space shuttle. This really is James Bond Stuff and what you see in the films is achievable today.

Most strategic battlefield comms kit now is portable and battery driven. This allows it to be turned off if there is a danger of an EMP knackering it.

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Well crap. I had $1,000 in there slowly appreciating against the £. Or so I thought.

At least I finished my poker career $20,000 up. Well, $19,000 now.

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Poker is a skill game in my opinion. Yes there is an element of luck to it - but you do need genuine skill at it if you're going to be successful.

Yes, to be really successful at online poker, you need to loot the accounts of a perpetual base of players. It'd be optimum to do this while presenting some compulsive gamblers as the executive... that way everyone will believe it's them that took the criminal risks. QED - Profit!

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Poker is a skill game in my opinion. Yes there is an element of luck to it - but you do need genuine skill at it if you're going to be successful. Your casino games are your Mugs games.

And re: comparing online gambling sites to banks?

Completely disagree - yes you have those occasional dodgy ones that start using players money to cover any expenses if they have cash flow problems, but if you find a reputable company (and ones that operate in the new regulated markets spreading through Europe) you'll not have any problems with your money 99% of the time. (leaving 1% in for the times when you're deemed to be 'too successful' and they freeze your account!)

You can make money on Poker by watching the reactions of the other player when they look at their cards. However, that isn't possible when you are playing against a computer, or against someone online.

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Two completely different styles of poker; you have to change your game approach when online/offline. I know I prefer real life as I can read people really well, online - I struggle/just about break even.

In fact if you look at the WSOP & other tournaments online players have had a high degree of success when translating it to real. Although only about 5% of online players can make a regular profit!

Although one episode was particular funny where an online player got a major hand and developed mega shakes! Q rapid folds !

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Two completely different styles of poker; you have to change your game approach when online/offline. I know I prefer real life as I can read people really well, online - I struggle/just about break even.

In fact if you look at the WSOP & other tournaments online players have had a high degree of success when translating it to real. Although only about 5% of online players can make a regular profit!

Although one episode was particular funny where an online player got a major hand and developed mega shakes! Q rapid folds !

I was always the opposite. Online I played the odds, and nothing but the odds. Worked well for me.

Real life playing, I deviated from this trying to read reactions, etc. Barely broke even.

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Incredible. But just swap the word 'Bank' or 'property development company' for 'on-line Poker' and I would struggle to see the difference.

yeah, but, banks are highly regulated and run by "proper" people, vetted by regulators, to do the right thing, my lawyers word is my bond and all that.

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whenever Ive played poker, the organiser sends a stripper in to ambush one of the players.

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They will be making xbox type consoles and pc gaming an Olympic sport soon looking at the way some of this is panning out!! :huh:

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The one mistake they made was not calling it "Full Tilt Investment Banking" and merging with a high street bank.

All this would now be the taxpayers problem and they could borrow without limit from Central Banks.

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  • 333 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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