Online Poker

Full Tilt Poker argues “Ponzi Scheme” Billing

by Jeremy

Mainstream news headlines have been rife with Full Tilt Poker stories ever since the US Attorney’s Office in New York labeled the poker site a “ponzi scheme.” Their assessment of the company is that FTP’s board of directors and Full Tilt pros were taking enormous sums of money deposited by players, and not leaving enough in the actual site. Going further with this, the average Full Tilt player’s account balance did not accurately portray how much money was available.

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With all of the ponzi scheme accusations flying around, prominent Full Tilt Poker pro Howard Lederer has been labeled the “Bernie Madoff” of online poker. However, the once world’s second largest poker site isn’t lying down and taking these words lightly since a Full Tilt lawyer is battling the ponzi scheme billing.

FTP lawyer Barry Boss said that the poker site he represents isn’t close to a ponzi scheme because the term implies an investment scam where investors are promised unbelievable returns, when their “profits” are really coming from later investors. Boss even went as far as to say that the US government isn’t really concerned about getting players’ funds back by stating, “If the Department of Justice is truly concerned about getting the players repaid, then it’s disingenuous to label the entire company a ponzi scheme, when it clearly is not.”

He does have a solid point here, but the fact of the matter is that Full Tilt Poker’s top directors and pros took an estimated $440 million out of the company. And now that they can’t pay players back their money, the ponzi scheme billing does lend some credence to the situation.

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