Online Poker

Full Tilt Poker Pros Under Investigation

by Poker Team

In a somewhat surprising announcement, it seems that the legal problems surrounding the world’s second largest online poker site, Full Tilt Poker, are only beginning. Three weeks ago, poker pro Clonie Gowen’s breach of contract suit against the company was dismissed and many believed it would now be smooth sailing for the creators of such innovations as “Run it Twice” and “Rush Poker”. However, a reporter for the Financial Times is reporting that a Federal Grand Jury in New York City has opened a money laundering indictment which, if it leads to indictments, are the most serious charges ever faced by the company. If substantiated, this could be the biggest black eye for online poker since the Ultimate Bet scandal.

In the report, it stated:

“A federal grand jury in Manhattan is investigating one of the largest internet poker sites serving U.S. gamblers and could bring indictments against some of the world’s best known professional players, according to people familiar with the case and a subpoena issued to a witness this week.”

This is significant given the high profile status of its affiliated pros. Though speculation at this point is premature, should any of the more serious charges come to fruition, it would seemingly be a severely damaging blow to the efforts of legalizing online gaming in the United States. Any opening of the company’s financial records for all the world to see could be just the ammunition opponents of gambling have been looking for. Among those players with a stake in the company are household names such as Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, Jennifer Harman and dozens of others.

There are no other specific details as to what prompted the investigation, who other than Lederer and Chris Ferguson are involved nor when more information will be made available. The magnitude of the announcement has far reaching global implications potentially and the entire poker community will be buzzing with speculation until more details emerge.

Lederer and Ferguson’s attorney, Eric Jackson tried to downplay the news when reached for comment, stating that

“We are not going to comment about a speculative grand jury investigation that we are not aware of.” In addition, gambling law expect Nelson Rose chimed in as well saying “The Federal Government is waging this war of intimidation. There are not a lot of good statutes, so they go after high-profile targets and try to intimidate everybody.”

We will continue to monitor any developments and will provide information as it becomes available.

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